​Refugee Union blasts Tsang for racist comments, likens ebola to SARS

You’d think between a highly publicised and embarrassing WhatsApp scandal, as well as an equally face-palming leaked recording of a racist joke that he’s inexplicably defending, that Jasper Tsang’s summer couldn’t get any worse.
Ladies and gentlemen, we give you worse.
In a press release issued Tuesday, the Refugee Union has lambasted the LegCo president after a “joke” he told in November last year about sending Africans from Chunking Mansion to clear out the Occupy Central protest sites went public.
A recording of the comment, seemingly making reference to the ebola crisis in West Africa, was obtained by Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) and released last week.
And in case we were in any doubt about the ebola connection, Tsang went on to say that even if Africans weren’t sent, an “epidemic” was highly probable due to hygiene concerns at the pro-democracy protest sites.
In the press release, the Refugee Union branded Tsang’s comments as “racist”, “highly discriminatory and deeply offensive”.
The Union also compared the ebola crisis to the SARS. epidemic in 2003 (which killed almost 300 people in Hong Kong), asking how Tsang would have felt if citizens from African states made derogatory remarks about the outbreak in such a casual manner.
The group, which works to promote the rights of refugees and asylum seekers in Hong Kong, went on to say that racism is “entrenched in the local culture and government,” citing the current refugee policy and lack of assistance as examples of Hong Kong’s xenophobia.
The Refugee Union demanded that Tsang retract his comments through a public apology, and urged the government to grant protection and work rights to longterm refugees. 

Coconuts Hong Kong has reached out to Jasper Tsang’s office for comment.

Photo: Tsang Yok Sing via Wikimedia Commons

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