Hong Kong population to rise by 500,000 after maid ruling
The population of Hong Kong could be transformed after a ruling from the High Court yesterday opened the door for up to 500,000 Filipinos and Indonesians to apply for permanent residency.
The court ruled that Evangeline Banao Vallejos, a Filipino maid who has lived in Hong Kong since 1986, was entitled to claim permanent citizenship.
Although Hong Kong's Basic Law states that anyone resident on the island for more than seven years can apply to make their stay permanent, until now the authorities have denied the right to the vast army of maids and cleaners employed there.
Ms Vallejos was not in court to hear the ruling, since her lawyer, Mark Daly, said it was a normal working day for her. "When we told her, she said, 'Thank God,'" he said.
The case had generated controversy in Hong Kong.
Many residents fear that the island's essential services will be swamped by an enormous influx of maids and their families.
"I am disappointed," said Donald Tsang, Hong Kong's chief executive, adding that the local government would now "do what we need to do".
His comments suggested the government was likely to appeal. (© Daily Telegraph, London)