Ethnic minorities’expectation for 2015 Policy Address

Hong Kong Community Network is a Non-profit organization(91/10503), our services mainly target the Pakistani, Indian and the Nepalese community in Hong Kong especially in the Kwai Tsing district. Our Association provides the comprehensive service for ethnic minorities and their family through these services to inspire their potential, establish their social network, develop their career life, and let them integrate into the society.

Ethnic minorities living in the Hong Kong have a huge and eager demand of Housing, jobs, education, health care, welfare, etc. The ways we help ethnic minorities to adapt to the life in Hong Kong and offer  them  a  path  out  of  poverty have a  direct  relationship  with  Hong Kong’s sustainable development.

Last October, Hong Kong Community Network hosted an ethnic minority support service center called LINK Centre which is sponsored by the Home Affairs Department to provide comprehensive services to minorities in the Kwai Tsing area, including language courses, group activities, youth development programmes, mutual support groups and community activities to assist them integrate into the society.

One research report called Study on Racial Encounters and Discrimination Experienced by South Asians published by Equal Opportunities Commission in 2012 pointed out that South Asians face various difficulties in Hong Kong. The main difficulty for South Asians to look for a satisfying job is the lack of Chinese literacy. We  have  learnt  from  our  experiences  in  the  past  several years  that there are still existing  difficulties for the minorities despite being born and raised in Hong Kong. Compared to local Chinese workers, ethnic minorities face more difficulties in their respective working environments as well as suiting the job requirements, acquire the

employment advisory and support services in the process of seeking a job. Some of the job training and retraining courses in Hong Kong are not suitable for ethnic minorities, in the meanwhile, most of the ethnic minorities rarely take part in those vocational training  courses and feel unacquainted with those courses.

Although ethnic minority students and Chinese students have an equal right to education, the number of Chinese students receiving education in comparison to the number of ethnic minorities receiving education is far above the par. According to the survey data published from census and statistics department in 2011, the proportion of South Asians who had post-secondary education (Diploma/certificate, associate degree courses and bachelor degree) were 0.49%, which was lower than the proportion for the whole South Asians population among the whole Hong Kong (6%).

Therefore, we are expecting Chief Executive Mr. Leung Chun-ying to focus more on ethnic minorities in the 2015 Policy Address as it can help them eliminate poverty and raise their standard of living.

1.Expand the amount of public housing, regain and execute the policy to make sure the waiting time for public rental housing for general family applicants at round three years. We suggest government department or commission on Poverty to provide the Community Care Fund or rent allowance to those that are not living in Public Housing and are not receiving CSSA to solve the burden of rent charges for them.
2.Government should provide free Kindergarten tuition funding,and ensure that education is free from kindergarten standard until secondary standard.
3.Education Bureau should lower standards for ethnic minorities to receive higher education to increase the mobility of underprivileged groups.
4.Child Care Centers should extend service time and provide Halal food for children so that women can go out and work without carrying the burden of providing Halal food for their children at home. Women are an essential part of the workforce in Hong Kong and hence this factor can prove to be beneficial for not only the ethnic minorities but for Hong Kong’s economy.
5.Loan with low interest is a helpful way to assist ethnic minorities to startup a company and earn money by themselves.
6.Reduce the difficulty or exempt the Chinese language exam when ethnic minorities attend the Common Recruitment Examination and Basic Law Test, it can help more ethnic minorities get a government job.