Court rules against blue card parents

Friday, May 16, 2008
Issue 345, Page 3
Word count: 518
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The Court of Final Appeal on Wednesday rejected the appeal of an imported skilled labourer wishing to obtain permission for his two-year-old son to also live in Macau.

The appellant, Nigel Chong Yow Hon according to information provided by the court (other details withheld due to privacy reasons), filed an application for his child in October 2005 which was denied by the Labour Affairs Bureau (DSAL) a month later because Mr Chong’s level of income – 5,560 patacas a month – was considered too low, despite him being issued a valid blue card.

After another failed attempt to the Public Security Police Force’s (PSP) Immigration Department in January 2006, Mr Chong approached the Secretary for Security who once again declined the application, giving similar reasons.

In the same year the skilled labourer appealed to the Court of Second Instance which found against the appeal December 14, 2006, stating administration departments have complete discretion and their decisions cannot be reviewed by the courts.

Mr Chong disagreed with the verdict and afterwards filed an appeal to the Court of Final Appeal.

According to the report written by Judge Viriato Lima and published online on May 14, the imported labourer claimed that “the administration departments should have offered a solution that better fitted the public interest rather than a decision that they believed was the most appropriate by exercising discretion”.

Mr Chong also claimed that the disapproval had breached the “United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child” which states that “any affairs relating to minors should be given priority to their best interests”.

“The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights” had also been violated, he said, in which minors should not be discriminated because of their backgrounds when receiving special protection and assistance measures.

Mr Chong argued a non-permanent local resident’s rights can be extended to their family under the Basic Law.

Mr Chong stated that his salary had been increased in the last two years – however details on the new level hadn’t been taken into consideration by the Court of Second Instance – and that the government overlooked the fact that his wife, who is an imported unskilled labourer of Macau, had been earning 2,500 patacas monthly for two years from 2005 to 2007.

Mr Chong claimed to the Court of Final Appeal that his case was in contradiction of the two international conventions and it was “the administration departments of the Macau SAR who caused a separation between a two-year-old child and his parents”.

Although families of skilled workers could have a possibility to be granted permission to stay in Macau, the Court of Final Appeal said it still depends on “the level of professionalism” of the imported labourer’s job and whether his work can bring “an evident interest” to the SAR.

In addition, the higher court ruled against the claim that the disapproval had breached the conventions, and said the SAR did not force Mr Chong or his wife to separate with his child and “the appellant can live with his child if he gives up his job and returns to his home country”.


1 Comment »

  1. Jon Said:

    Same the whole world over… If he had more money, no problem. God smiles on the rich and the children of the rich.

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