Imported labour = ethnic cleansing: a commentary on CY Leung’s speech on the labour shortage (輸入人才為名，族群清洗為實──評梁振英的人才短缺論)
– 萬逢達 for Passion Times, July 19, 2013
At a lunch function at the Hong Kong Association of Banks on Wednesday, Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung expressed that the city is facing a shortage of labour, suggesting that Hong Kong may need to rely on imported labour in the future. CY’s words closely match previous comments by Chief Secretary Carrie Lam at Legco, where she said the government “may consider” admitting parents of double-negative children into the city. [Translation note: Local-born children of two non-local parents are called double negatives as they are by law Hong Kongers even though both their parents are not.] To put it simply, the import of foreign labour is in truth the import of PRCs to facilitate the colonization of Hong Kong via ethnic cleansing.
No one is denying that Hong Kong requires foreign talent to maintain its competitiveness on the world stage. However, neither CY Leung nor Carrie Lam has mentioned exactly which sectors of Hong Kong’s industry are facing shortages. As such, we have consulted the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department ourselves. According to the department, there are currently three major industries facing labour shortages (the “Big 3”): retail, hotel, and catering, which face a total shortage of 20,000 labourers. At the same time, Hong Kong’s number of unemployed youth number roughly 60,000. As Hong Kong’s labour shortages is composed mainly of low-ranking service industry jobs, with long hours, difficult working conditions, and less holidays than white-collar jobs, Hong Kong’s youth are simply not attracted, leading to the dual phenomena of labour shortages in some industries and job shortages in others.
A closer examination reveals that the labour shortages in the Big 3 are a direct consequence of the Individual Visit Scheme and its resulting surge of PRC visitors. In addition, the introduction of minimum wages in Hong Kong has increased the competition for unskilled labour across different sectors, leading to shortages for the Big 3 industries. On the surface, it seems sensible to import PRC labour to deal with the shortages in these industries. However, this logic has several major flaws.
Firstly, the Big 3 labour shortages stem from an abnormal political situation, which is subject to change at any time. At first, the Individual Visit Scheme was introduced for the purpose of resurrecting Hong Kong’s economy after SARS, as a stopgap measure only. On the other hand, granting residency to PRCs on the basis of employment is a permanent measure (assuming they manage to stay the requisite seven years). If jobs were to dry up in the future, these new immigrants would only add to our troubles.
Secondly, the Big 3 labour shortages are for unskilled or semi-skilled labour, not rare talents that must be imported from elsewhere. Seeing that Hong Kong already has 60,000 unemployed youth, and the mismatch between vacant jobs and unemployed persons, the problem is clearly one of skewed wage levels and lack of cultivation of new workers in the right areas. Dealing with these problems is more cost-effective than importing foreign labour to cover the gap.
Finally, and most importantly, when we combine CY’s words with those of Carrie Lam, we can plainly see where the government intends to source its foreign labour from: mainland China. Carrie Lam has previously stated in Legco that double-negative parents are generally “from good educational and employment backgrounds”, making them prime targets for Hong Kong’s work force. However, even assuming these statistics weren’t simply plucked out of thin air, why would these allegedly well-employed parents want to come over to Hong Kong to work low-paying, menial service industry jobs? The only PRCs Hong Kong would attract would be uneducated, unskilled, and uncultured, the bottom of the barrel. (Yes, I dare say uncultured, for surely any cultured society would not tolerate foreigners exploiting legal loopholes to leech off of their precious public resources like the double-negatives do to us.)
Using economic reasons to cover up political conspiracy is an old trick of our government. “Foreign talent” is doublespeak for “PRC colonists”; “internationalization” is doublespeak for “Sinicization”. Just look at the “internationalization” of our city’s universities for an example. Opening Hong Kong to foreign talent, attracting parents of double-negatives, developing the North-east New Territories PRC concession [translation note: the real name is the North-east New Territories New Development Area], the mass admission of PRC students at the expense of locals, all boil down to one thing.
The ethnic cleansing [translation note: originally “Tibetification”] of Hong Kong is in full force. Like a frog being boiled, time is running out to jump out of the pot.
- Hong Kong pulls a Singapore on foreign labor (justanotherhker.wordpress.com)