In response to media enquiries regarding the comments about racial minorities made by Legislative Councillor Priscilla Leung in RTHK’s “Letter to Hong Kong” broadcast today (May 3), a spokesman for the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau said that the Government is committed to fostering racial equality and harmony.
The spokesman said: “Our community recognises and values the contribution of racial minorities. Government policy is to encourage their integration into society while preserving their unique cultural characteristics, as well as eliminate discrimination on the ground of race.
“The enactment of the Race Discrimination Ordinance is a major step forward demonstrating the Government’s commitment on eliminating unlawful racial discrimination. After the full implementation of the Ordinance around mid-2009, the Equal Opportunities Commission will enforce the law and handle complaints on racial discrimination.
“The Government has also been providing support services for ethnic minorities through sponsorship to non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Such services include provision of language courses on English and Cantonese, and other activities to facilitate their integration into the community.
“To further enhance support measures for ethnic minorities, we have provided funding grants to the NGOs to establish and operate four regional support centres for ethnic minorities. These centres will provide telephone interpretation service in seven ethnic minority languages, as well as language and other integration programmes. They will come into operation in mid-2009.
“There are also initiatives from bureaux and departments concerned to cater for the needs of ethnic minorities. For example, the Education Bureau provides supports for designated schools to cater for the needs of non-Chinese speaking students. The Vocational Training Council and the Employees Retraining Board have offered dedicated programmes for non-Chinese speaking students.
“We hope that all members of the community would work together in enhancing racial harmony and racial equality in Hong Kong.”
Ends/Sunday, May 3, 2009