The Philippine consulate general in Hong Kong said it is concerned about the “unfortunate choice of words” by legislator Regina Ip in her recent comments about Filipino domestic helpers.
However, it believes the comments do not reflect the sentiment of the Hong Kong community at large, it said a statement on its website.
The statement came after Ip, who also serves on the executive council, said Filipino domestic helpers are being “turned into sexual resources for male foreigners in Hong Kong” in an article in Ming Pao Daily on Friday.
She said that during her 1998-2003 stint as security minister, she received complaints from some expat wives that Filipino maids were seducing their husbands.
The article was later posted on her Facebook page with the headline “Lots of Filipino maids provide sex services to foreign men?”.
She apologized for the headline but said she was not sorry for her comments. The post has been deleted.
The Philippine consulate said discrimination should have “no place in any society, most especially Hong Kong, which prides itself as Asia’s World City”.
It said Hong Kong is home to more than 173,000 Filipino domestic helpers who left their loved ones to care for Hong Kong families and earn a decent living.
“This, in turn, has engendered a positive impact on the quality of life of those families as well as on the economy of Hong Kong as a whole.”
In a subsequent Facebook post, Ip said her comments were not intended to discriminate against anyone but was merely made to reflect a social reality.
She said she regretted the use of inappropriate language in the Facebook headline and was sorry that the public misunderstood it.
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Regina Ip not sorry for comments about Filipino helpers