But lawmaker Regina Ip, a close adviser to the city’s leader Leung Chun-ying and tipped as a future chief executive, cast the maids as marriage wreckers.In an op-ed article in Chinese-language newspaper Ming Pao on Friday, Ip told how jilted expatriate wives had complained to her that their maids had led their husbands astray.
There are 300,000 maids in Hong Kong, mostly from the Philippines and Indonesia, with concern growing among rights groups over their welfare following a string of abuse cases.
Although organised prostitution is illegal, the industry had always been under the influence of triads to recruit economically disadvantaged women who otherwise would never enter the profession voluntarily.
Until the 1980s, most Hong Kong underground sex establishments were run by gangsters. The Cantonese name of the street, 擺花 (pai fa) literally means "flower arrangement", possibly because of presence of numerous stalls in the area in the mid-19th century, selling flowers From 1884 to 1887 many brothels were declared by the Government to be unlicensed and closed down.
“I could only tell them that under the current laws it is quite difficult to regulate,” she said.
Ip said she had learned of “families wrecked because of relationships between Filipino maids and male employers.” “Rather than reporting improper behavior by local employers, should we pay more attention to Filipino maids becoming sexual resources for foreign men in Hong Kong? In her article, Ip linked her theory to the recent case of a 15-year-old girl, with a British father and Filipino mother, who fell from a luxury apartment block in an apparent suicide earlier this month.