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October 8th, 2011:

Air Quality in Hong Kong 2010

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Air quality

We cannot keep running to Beijing

South China Morning Post

The court ruling regarding right of abode and [foreign] domestic helpers is apparently very clear. It has been arrived at by a judge in a city that advertises the fact that it has the rule of law operated by an independent judiciary.

Asking Beijing for a ruling on a ruling is only to be expected from Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee (“HK must seek Beijing ruling on right of abode for maids, Ip says”, October 3). She does not seem to understand the consequences of running to Beijing whenever something happens that she does not like.

If every decision, however minor, has to be taken by Beijing, surely it will decide that it is not even worth bothering with the pretence of electing a chief executive or a legislature, and just appoint a mainland official to do the job and impose the mainland legal system.

Beijing could argue what is the point of having independent judges. If Hongkongers want to be ruled in the same way as the mainland, then let it be so. What Mrs Ip and others like her should be doing is making sure that they address the problem, if there is one, in a mature manner.

They should address the implications of a minimum wage and hourly working week for the women who become permanent residents. I think the opposition to the ruling is driven by racism and money – people may have to pay more for their domestic help.

It may make people consider that the cost [of hiring a foreign helper] is too great and actually start to look after their own children. Surely no bad thing.

Michael Jenkins, Central