When Harinder Veriah had an epileptic fit more than a year ago, no one realised it would trigger a chain of events that have helped expose Hong Kong’s great ‘dirty secret’.
On 2 January 2000 Veriah, known to her friends as Hari, died. Shortly before, she told her husband, the British journalist Martin Jacques, that she was at the ‘bottom of the pile’ at the hospital where she was being treated. She meant her skin colour and Indian race were responsible for a lack of attention.
Today an unusually large coalition of 12 organisations, including Indian, Filipino, Thai and Nepalese groups, is holding a memorial for Veriah and meeting to campaign for anti-racial discrimination legislation. Vandana Rajwani, a lawyer who is one of the meeting’s organisers, says they have been inundated with people wanting to participate.