Translations courtesy of Ellie Ng.
Pro-Beijing politician Regina Ip has removed a controversial column from her blog and Facebook related to the sex lives of domestic workers. In the piece, also printed in Ming Pao, she decried the international media for “exaggerating” the Erwiana abuse case and made reference to the recent suicide of a teenager.
“International media have yet to report on the abnormal relationships, or even sexual exploitation, between some foreigners and domestic helpers living in Hong Kong,” Ip wrote.
In the article Ip lamented that, in her previous role as secretary for security, it would have been “extremely difficult” to regulate against Filipino helpers seducing their employer’s husbands in Hong Kong:
“…there are many cases of foreign employers and Filipino domestic helpers having sexual relationships. During my time as the Secretary of the Security Bureau, I have received complaints from a group of foreign women living in Discovery Bay that the government allows Filipino domestic helpers to seduce their husbands. But my reply at that time was that it is extremely difficult to carry out regulation under existing laws, and that I am afraid we could not do much to help. A few foreign friends of mine who live in Discovery Bay have also told me that they have heard of many families that fell apart because the male residents had ambiguous relationships with their Filipino domestic helpers.”
Ip, who is Chairwoman of the New People’s Party, went on to say:
“…it is understandable that a weak woman, who has travelled all the way to work in a foreign place with no familial connections – and who might need to feed the old and young in her family – would accept the good will of a boyfriend or employer to take care of her”
She also made reference to the recent suicide of a teenage girl whose mother was a domestic worker residing in Hong Kong unlawfully with a British man. On the day of the girl’s funeral, Ip used the example to draw attention to how the father was allegedly sheltering an illegal immigrant and failing to send his daughters to school.
— Tom Grundy (@tomgrundy) April 17, 2015
Ip concluded, “I think that besides reporting on the misconducts of Hong Kong employers, shouldn’t international media also pay more attention to the issue of a large number of Filipino domestic helpers being turned into sexual resources of male foreigners?”
Update: In response to the article, the Civic Party’s Claudia Mo sent a complaint to the Equal Opportunities Commission. In it, she said the following:
“I personally think that [Ip’s] statement is extremely inappropriate as it seems to deliberately label Filipino domestic helpers as sex workers and accusing them of frequently committing immoral behaviours in Hong Kong. Her statement might have violated the Race Discrimination Ordinance. As an Executive Council member and legislator, Ms. Ip should be mindful of her speech and action. Her racially discriminatory statement has severely damaged the ethnic harmony in Hong Kong.”
Update: Regina Ip responds to Hong Wrong’s enquiries:
“The infographics done by a staff was offensive and misleading so I had it deleted. There were some slight inaccuracies in my article but no discrimination against foreign domestic helpers were intended… I meant no discrimination was intended.”
— Tom Grundy (@tomgrundy) April 20, 2015