HK artist Leila Kong (left) and her Indonesian domestic worker Muji in Java, Indonesia
Photo: Facebook, viuTV
HK artist Leila Kong (left) and her Indonesian domestic worker Muji in Java, Indonesia Photo: Facebook, viuTV

A heated discussion erupted on social media after an online video promoting an upcoming television program showed a Hong Kong artist spending time at her domestic worker’s home in Indonesia.

Leila Kong, a Chinese-Indonesian, visited the home of Muji, her domestic worker from Java, Indonesia. There, she spent a few days with Muji’s family to experience first-hand the home life of someone who had worked for her for six years, news website reported.

Kong, a single mother with two young children, said Muji had helped her and her children a great deal. However, while the domestic worker spent six years in Hong Kong helping take care of Kong’s children, she spent fewer than 100 days with her own son Risky.

When Kong arrived at Muji’s house, she burst into tears when she saw the house that Muji had spent years working hard in Hong Kong to build.

Kong agreed to join the program “Stolen Homelands” by broadcaster ViuTV as she wanted to know more about Muji. However, she admitted that she was a little afraid of what she might learn, and might feel guilty for denying her domestic worker’s valuable family time.

Social media reactions varied wildly, and comments about the video clipquickly dissolved into a heated discussion.

One commentator said that all overseas workers face the same situation, not just domestic workers. Another pointed out that many Hong Kong parents need to work for such long hours that they hardly see their own children.

Some concentrated their comments on the house that Muji built from her Hong Kong wages, noting that although she sacrificed time with her family, she managed to build a house in only a few years. They contrasted this with people in Hong Kong, who cannot afford to buy the smallest flat even when they work hard for sixty years.

Other slammed people for having no empathy and for leaving heartless messages. They said the program wanted to inform the audience about the precious relationships built among people, regardless of their age, sex or ethnicity.

The promotional video on social media recorded 4,400 reactions, 1,100 shares and 300 comments.

“Stolen Homelands” is produced by ViuTV and three HK artists and a politician will visit their domestic workers’ hometowns in the program. The program is in Cantonese.

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