What is the Right of abode?
In simple terms, the Right of Abode is the right to legally reside in Hong Kong. To have the right of abode in Hong Kong, they must be Hong Kong Permanent Residents. Under the Hong Kong Basic Law, permanent residents are:
- Chinese Citizens born in Hong Kong before or after the establishment of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR)
- Chinese Citizens who have ordinarily resided resided in Hong Kong for a continuous period not less than 7 years before or after the establishment of HKSAR
- Person of Chinese nationality born outside Hong Kong of those resident listed in point (1) and (2)
- Person who does not have Chinese nationality but has entered Hong Kong with valid travel documents and has lived in Hong Kong for 7 years continuously and has taken Hong Kong as a permanent resident before or after the establishment of HKSAR.
- Person under the age of 21 born in Hong Kong of those resident listed in point (4) before or after the establishment of HKSAR
- Person other than those resident listed in points (1) to (5) who had the right of abode in Hong Kong before or after the establishment of HKSAR.
All permanent and non-permanent residents will be issued an Hong Kong Identity card. Having an HKID does not mean you have the right to abode in Hong Kong.
So… What’s this debate about
In simple terms, a Foreign maid has won a legal battle which now gives ALL Foreign maid the right of abode in Hong Kong.
What are the problems with this ruling?
(The next section will all be my point of view)
Being as objective as I can, the new ruling will cause a huge strain on the already stretched Hong Kong social security services. Even though Hong Kong has been in a budget surplus for the last 7 years (so Hong Kong did not have a deficit during the 2011 financial crisis), with more and more of the population moving towards their retirement age and reduced working class people, I can only see the tax revenue falling, sooner or later, the government may be in a huge deficit like the United States currently.
When you consider that most domestic helpers tend to have poor families in their home country, you can imagine what would happen when they bring their whole family over to Hong Kong. They will all ask for social security. With this surge of demand and no change in tax revenues, you can see where this is going.
Doing my best not to deter any new immigrants, but there are still PERNAMENT RESIDENTS without proper housing. The government is not doing a good job creating housing for the poor (I'm not alone in this point of view, the Chief Executive said it himself), imagine the surge of new poor immigrants, what will happen to the permanent residents without proper housing? They will most likely never going to see a proper housing.
That’s all I can say. What do you think? Post a comment below.