Arrest of vandalism suspect who allegedly targeted Hong Kong ethnic minority families sparks calls for better education on inclusiveness

Arrest of vandalism suspect who allegedly targeted Hong Kong ethnic minority families sparks calls for better education on inclusiveness

Hong Kong’s ethnic minority communities have condemned acts of vandalism against fellow residents and called for better education on inclusiveness after police arrested a suspect who allegedly targeted non-Chinese people in a spate of incidents.

But community leaders added that they believed it was an individual case and that such attacks were not a growing trend, although some also noted people of ethnic minority backgrounds still faced discrimination.

Police on Friday arrested a man, 23, in connection with vandalism and nuisance-related activities targeting ethnic minority residents in dozens of households on one housing estate. Online videos showed human waste was smeared and paint sprayed on the front doors of flats at On Yam Estate in Kwai Chung.

The city’s chief imam, Mufti Muhammad Arshad, on Saturday condemned the spate of incidents.

“It is illegitimate and unrealistic and I think it has no acceptance by the public of Hong Kong,” he said.

“This person who started this will not be successful in his intention or what he tried, to create differences in the community.”

Hong Kong police arrest man over vandalism targeting ethnic minority residents

Arshad said he believed it was an isolated case, among a few who might have personal grievances against some ethnic minority people, and noted he did not receive many complaints of such attacks from his community.

He said ethnic minority people usually reported such attacks to police, who handled cases quickly before the acts could potentially form a trend.

“I’ve also been living here in Hong Kong for the last 25 years, and also my family are here, my children, my grandchildren are here, so we have not felt any hate from the local community,” he said.

Hong Kong has more than 610,000 people from ethnic minorities, accounting for 8.4 per cent of the total population, according to the 2021 census.

Nepali Indra Gurung, director of community group Multiculturalism Diversity Our Home Society Hong Kong, said people from ethnic minority backgrounds mostly faced discrimination with only a few cases of serious physical harm or vandalism.

But she recalled an incident in 2022 during the coronavirus pandemic where a man spat on a Nepali woman in her 30s on an MTR train, called her “dirty” and blamed her for “bringing Covid to Hong Kong”.

Gurung said she helped the woman report the case to the Equal Opportunities Commission, the city’s equality watchdog, a common move among ethnic minority residents to complain about unfair treatment.

She called on the watchdog and the Education Bureau to step up public education efforts to raise awareness on the need for inclusiveness as well as provide more information for ethnic minority communities on how residents could seek help.

“We are in a multicultural city, and we are all Hong Kong residents,” she said.



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