02 Oct '11, 8am

Hong Kong split over historic maids residency case

HONG KONG: Every Sunday, the public spaces and walkways of Hong Kong are jammed with Filipina and Indonesian domestic workers using their one day off to gather with their friends and fellow countrywomen. The gleaming skyscrapers of the financial hub are a far cry from the often poor neighbourhoods they have come from. Now a landmark court ruling has given them a chance to apply for permanent residency -- but the decision, which has polarised opinions in the southern Chinese city, has also prompted different reactions among maids themselves. Newspapers are filled with opposing arguments and rival protests were held in the run-up to the case hearing, with more planned for Sunday. For some maids, the ruling represents the hope of a better future. Sumiati Mia, 51, an Indonesian who has worked as domestic helper since 1989, said she would "definitely" apply for permanent reside...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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