EOC expresses concern over 'locust' ad


The Equal Opportunities Commission has expressed concern over a full-page advertisement published in a Chinese newspaper yesterday depicting mainlanders as locusts.

Commission chairman Lam Woon-Kwong said putting forward contemptuous and vilifying remarks will heighten social tension and mutual hostility, and called instead for tolerance and rational debate.

The ad in the Apple Daily was paid for by an online group, and is seen as evidence of growing tensions between Hong Kong and Mainland people... with many locals blaming the visitors for abusing local resources by having babies here. Hence the allusion to the famine-causing insect. But the EOC says such sentiments only debase Hong Kong people, making them look mean and inward-looking; and it damages the city's friendly image.

While chairman Lam Woon-Kwong says the commission understands the people's strong sentiments over the strain on medical and other resources caused by the influx of Mainlanders, he said these social issues sbould be considered in a rational and factual manner.

But he added that the Commission agrees that the government should take immediate steps to make sure local residents have priority to local resources and services, and it should review its policies and laws concerning these social issues as soon as possible.

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