Pork in food parcels shows 'lack of sensitivity' - RTHK
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Pork in food parcels shows 'lack of sensitivity'

2021-01-24 HKT 15:39
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  • Luncheon meat is among the foods provided by the authorities to residents under lockdown. File photo: RTHK
    Luncheon meat is among the foods provided by the authorities to residents under lockdown. File photo: RTHK
A Yau Tsim Mong district councillor on Sunday accused the government of failing to show cultural sensitivity in its treatment of people locked down in Jordan, after Muslim residents were handed food packages containing luncheon meat.

Officials handed out food parcels on Saturday after imposing a lockdown and ordering testing for everyone in an area of more than 10,000 residents that has seen a surge in coronavirus cases. They included tinned luncheon meat as well as other food such as bread and instant noodles.

Councillor Leslie Chan said officials hadn't thought through the contents of the parcels for an area where a high proportion of residents are from ethnic minorities.

"We also see that the government provided foods to the residents, but the problem is it included luncheon meat, which is pork," he said. "The Muslim residents can't eat pork because of religious reasons."

Chan is also helping a store owner who’s worried about feeding her two cats in her stall.

"The government just think about the [residents] but doesn't have animal rights in mind," he said. "[Officials] should have more cultural and animal sensitivity."

Asked about the content of the food parcels during a visit to the area this morning, Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung said: "Because we are not only distributing [the foods] to the ethnic minorities, the foods are not targeted [to one group of people].

"The food package includes fish, bread as well as noodles. If you have noticed, they include not only luncheon meat, we have various choices of cans such as tuna and others, as well as soups and white bread and even chocolate and muesli bars. There are also fruits. So people are free to take what they want.”

Other people RTHK spoke to near the locked-down area said they'd been inconvenienced, although they understood the reasons for the action.

Ahmad, said he felt bad about the lockdown because none of the shops in the area were operating. But asked whether the action was needed he said: "Yes, it must be, because there are too many cases in Jordan."

Chella, who was bringing food for her father, brother and step-mother, who live in the affected area, said her family was shocked when the lockdown was introduced. She said she'd been reluctant to visit but felt she had to.