27 October 2016
Regina Ip (right) has apologized for her comments, which sparked a protest at her party's office Thursday. Photo: Twitter@phila_siu
Regina Ip (right) has apologized for her comments, which sparked a protest at her party's office Thursday. Photo: [email protected]_siu

Regina Ip apologises after protest by Filipino maids

Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, who chairs the New People’s Party, apologised Friday for her comments about Filipino domestic helpers, which sparked a protest by about 40 people Thursday.

“I wish to tender my sincere apologies to all those who have felt offended by my article,” Ip said in a statement on her Facebook page. [See here]

“I treasure my friendship with the Filipino community.”

Ip, who is a member of the Executive Council and a lawmaker, said she looks forward to an opportunity to explain to the concerned groups so that any misunderstanding could be removed.

In an article in Ming Pao Daily on April 17, Ip wrote that Filipino domestic helpers are being “turned into sexual resources for male foreigners in Hong Kong”.

The Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong said Monday it was concerned about the “unfortunate choice of words” by the legislator in her recent comments about Filipino domestic helpers.

Those who took part in Thursday’s protest, organized by the Asian Migrants Coordinating Body, demanded an apology from Ip for her comments.  

Holding banners that portray Ip as Adolf Hitler, the protesters rallied in front of the New People’s Party’s office in Wan Chai, Apple Daily reported. 

They said Ip’s comments have caused discrimination against new immigrants and disparaged female rights.

The protesters carried placards saying “Racism is a social virus” and “Regina Ip shame on you”. 

They said they will start a march from Central to the government headquarters in Admiralty at 11 a.m. Sunday.

Ip said in a short note on her Facebook page Thursday that she was unable to meet the protesters because of a Legislative Council meeting. She said she is willing to have a face-to-face meeting with them. 

In her statement Friday, Ip said: The sole purpose of my article was to raise a question as to whether there is widespread exploitation of Filipino maids in Hong Kong and to express my concern.

“Unfortunately, the way my article was misinterpreted in some quarters has led many to believe that I was sexist or racist and was pointing a finger at the Filipino maids. I strenuously deny such allegations.”

She said she “deeply regretted” the misunderstanding caused by her comments.

Ip said she has always been friendly to the Filipinos working in Hong Kong in diverse areas and respects their hard work and contributions to the Hong Kong community. 

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