Pro-Beijing lawmaker Eunice Yung has apologised after saying that domestic workers gathering in public affect public hygiene.

Last week, Yung said at a Legislative Council meeting that domestic workers “sit, eat and sleep on the ground, thus affecting the daily lives of the public, the operation of shops and the environmental hygiene in public places.”

Photo: 容海恩 Eunice Yung via Facebook.

Her remarks were blasted by the domestic worker community as “insensitive” and “offensive,” and on Sunday migrant activist groups organised a rally to the headquarters of New People’s Party, demanding an apology from Yung.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday evening, Yung posted a photo of herself sitting on the floor with a group of domestic workers. She apologised for her earlier comments, saying: “if the remarks in my question to the government left anyone with the impression that I was disrespectful to overseas domestic helpers, I am sorry as that certainly was not my intention.”

Yung also said that she met with representatives of the Asian Migrants’ Coordinating Body and the Progressive Labor Union of Domestic Workers on Sunday.

Photo: 容海恩 Eunice Yung via Facebook.

“I am pleased that our exchange of ideas has deepened mutual understanding. We share the same goal, urging the government to provide them with better options, including the possibility of the government setting up centres in different districts for their convenient use,” she said.

Yung added that she appreciates the contributions of domestic workers to Hong Kong, and that they deserve a better place to stay and gather. “I will continue to advocate for adequate domestic helpers’ rights and to urge the government to provide better places and facilities for them to stay on their rest days,” she said.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.