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Ethnic Minorities are Members of Hong Kong Family: C. Y. Leung



Hong Kong's ethnic minority communities are members of the broader Hong Kong family, says Chief Executive-designate Mr. Leung Chun Yin. Meeting a group of ethnic minority members in his  office on Tuesday, Mr. Leung claimed that he will be working hard to build a broader Hong Kong community in which ethnic minorities will be integral members. 'I will work to build a big Hong Kong family inclusive of ethnic minority members and I need all of your support', he said.
Members of Indian, Nepalese, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Sri-Lankan communities met Mr. Leung to put their views across about the difficulties they face in Hong Kong.
Elected to the top post of Hong Kong in March this year, Mr. Leung has been meeting groups of various sectors and strata to understand their problems which, analysts believe, will make him easier to devise his policies when he assumes office in July. Meeting with members of the  ethnic communities is believed to be one of his strategies to garner public support before he assumes office.
As part of his working plans, Mr. Leung has proposed to restructure the current government Departments and Bureaux but his proposal has been stalled in various committees under the Legislative Council.
Most participants in the meeting raised the issue of education calling on Mr. Leung to set up a separate UNIT under Education Bureau to look after the education of ethnic minority students. Chura Thapa,  a PhD student at Hong Kong Baptist University and one of the participants in the meeting said that Education Bureau is mostly focusing on the Chinese language education of ethnic minority students ignoring their overall educational welbeing. 'There is no such mechanism to handle the overall educational development and educational welbeing of the ethnic minority students in Hong Kong. So, the government should set up a unit particularly to look after the education of ethnic minority students', he said.
The government of Hong Kong has set up Race Relations Unit under Home Affairs Department to facilitate the integration of ethnic minority communities into the local society. The Unit has been funding various NGOs and community organizations for a range of services and activities including interpretation and festival celebrations. However, the Unit has no ambit to deal with the education of ethnic minority students. Some members claimed that there is no integration happening in the designated schools in Hong Kong. 'Students are put separately in designated schools and they seldom interact with each other. So in order the integration process to  take place in schools, the government needs to overhaul the current practices and policy', said a member.  

Participants in the meeting raised various other issues including the recruitment of ethnic minority youths into the government services and allowing ethnic minority members to acquire SAR Passport  without giving up their own country's passports.
Some Nepalese community members demanded the government to grant vacant spaces for establishing a community center for them.
Responding to the views of the participants, Mr. Leung pledged to tackle the issues of ethnic minorities. The meeting was organized by the Ethnic Minority Committee of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong.

from ETHNIC VOICE Weekly

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