The Southern China

One rule for them...

More on the stupid business with the so-called "anti-racist" legislation that is supposed to outlaw generous expat packages for permanent residents.  I've covered this a few times.

Yesterday the SCMP reported that the bill has been delayed and that there were still concerns from foreign businesses about the implications of this proposed legislation.  Well, yes, because it is a crazy idea.

The anti-racism bill faces further delays, with Home Affairs Department officials meeting the international business community today to discuss proposed tough curbs on expatriate packages.  Deputy Secretary for Home Affairs Stephen Fisher told the Committee on the Promotion of Racial Harmony yesterday that drafting of the bill was nearing completion.

The bill was previously expected to be presented for lawmakers' consideration in March.

Mr Fisher said some chambers of commerce, those from Europe and North America in particular, had recently voiced concerns about provisions in the draft bill on overseas terms of employment. They fear these could hinder their member companies' ability to bring the best available talent to Hong Kong to run their operations.

Today the SCMP publishes a rather pointed letter on the subject (echoing David Webb's earlier letter when this was first mooted):

In "More delays looming on expat package bill" (May 11), Deputy Secretary for Home Affairs Stephen Fisher is quoted as saying permanent residents' "children should go to local schools and you don't need to go back to your home every year or every six months - Hong Kong is your home".

Could he please confirm that his own children go, went or will go to public schools in Hong Kong and that he does not travel overseas to visit relatives?

Could he also please explain, in the light of his statement, whether allowances for the above in his employment package and in those of other civil servants are still necessary? Finally, could he clarify whether, on the basis of all this, he intends Hong Kong's status as Asia's world city to be downgraded to simply "city in Asia"?

As I recall, Mr Fisher didn't reply to David Webb's letter, so I don't suppose he'll be responding this time either.


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