‘No domestic helpers allowed’ sign at HK club criticized for discrimination
Members of a Hong Kong Facebook group called “Hong Kong Moms” denounced a photo of a signage in the Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club in Sai Kung, New Territoties, which was posted by one of their members recently.
The sign read: “No Domestic Helpers Allowed In The Swimming Pool,” as reported by South China Morning Post last April 22.
Many were up in arms over the sign, calling it racist and should be reported. Others, on the other had, said that Hong Kong is no longer living in the past, and “should set good examples” to the next generation by “respecting each other no matter what’s your status in life.”
Cynthia Tellez, a Filipino and general manager of local NGO Mission for Migrant Workers also found the signage discriminatory. “This was an issue in the 1980s, and in the 1990s… While the management of the places where such notices were placed immediately removed the notices, the discriminatory mindset of some people remained,” Tellez said in the report.
Moreover, Tellez said that such acts are not just discriminating and degrading against domestic helpers, but also show little thought for the safety of the children they take care of.
The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), however, said that one’s eligibility to use the swimming pool, and the house rules governing the pool’s use, should be considered first before classifying it as a case of “discrimination.”
“Other factors are the rationale [for] imposing this restriction, whether the rationale is based on sound reasons and whether there is evidence to show that the policy would be detrimental to persons of a particular race,” Sam Ho, the EOC’s senior corporate communications manager, was quoted as saying.
Filipino domestic helpers in Hong Kong continue to face discrimination and racism. Just last month, a Filipino domestic helper was filmed being verbally abused by a Hong Kong resident in a public park. The domestic helper was caring for an infant and two dogs when the resident started to complain about her, telling her that she is “just” a domestic helper.
In the past, Hong Kong textbooks have also stereotypically depicted Filipinos as domestic helpers, illustrating a dark-skinned woman introducing herself as a Filipino and a domestic helper living in Hong Kong. Cody Cepeda/JB
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