Society

Carrie Lam pledges better political inclusion of ethnic minorities

Requirements on Chinese proficiency will be relaxed to include more ethnic minorities in the government, announced Chief Executive Carrie Lam in her first policy address.

"We need to increase the job opportunities for ethnic minorities to work in the government," said Lam.

Civil Service Bureau has started a review on the entry requirements relating to Chinese proficiency to get more ethnic minorities working in the government.

Currently, ethnic minorities willing to join the civil service are required to undergo a written Chinese proficiency test.

The government launched Project Gemstone in 2013 to teach ethnic minority young people Chinese, making it easier for them to join the police.

Apart from the support on language, representatives of ethnic minority have also been included in a preparatory committee chaired by Lam for children's issues.

Shalini Mahtani, the founder of Zubin Foundation said it's a good start because at least Carrie Lam is looking into this issue.

"We'll continue to ask Carrie Lam to get more ethnic minority members into government advisory committees to express their voices," she said.

However, Pro-democracy lawmaker Claudia Mo said the policy address showed "complete ignorance" on long-lasting ethnic minority problems.

"I feel pessimistic. We should keep on fighting and can see miracles on politics including ethnic minority's political participation in Hong Kong," said Mo.

Abeer, spokesperson of HK Ethnic Minority Women, said the lack of political participation for ethnic minorities cannot be solved in a short time through those limited measurements.

"Hong Kong is lagging behind in almost all aspects of life services for ethnic minorities," she said. "No doctors, no police officers, so even no need to mention politicians."

Kathleen Magramo, a Filipino student from the University of Hong Kong said the framework is on the right track but concrete actors need to be mobilised to see results.

Magramo said she didn't register as a voter because the lack of proper representatives.

"We want to know Hong Kong more through the language, through the system, before we can even have the initiative to vote," she said.

 

《The Young Reporter》

The Young Reporter (TYR) is an English news publication produced by international journalism students at Hong Kong Baptist University. It started as a printed magazine in 1969. Today, TYR is produced across different platforms.

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