Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 21st 2015 Contents YVONNE WEBB
The China Society is fighting back
to regain its position of trust among
food consumers following adverse
reactions to a video of a dog alleged-
ly being prepared for consumption
for a Chinese restaurant and a fall
out at its many eating places.
The society said the video as well
as the comments of Health Minister
Dr Fuad Khan, "who clearly implied
that all Chinese eat dog meat and
that all restaurants owned by Chinese
serve dog meat to an unwary public
and advised Trini people to go veg-
etarian," has badly wounded the entire
It said Chinese nationals and Trin-
bagonians of Chinese descent have
all become the subject of derogatory
comments, racial slurs, harassment,
intimidation, racial isolation, intol-
erance and bias as a result.
"The fact is that the vast majority
of Chinese nationals and Trinbago-
nians of Chinese descent are totally
revulsed by the idea of consuming
dog meat," the statement, endorsed
by The China Society Zhong Shan
Association, Toi Shan Association,
Sun Wai Association Fu Tong On
Association, Chinese Association in
St Ann s, The China Merchant Asso-
ciation and The Chinese Art and Cul-
ture Studies Society, categorically
"We have not done anything to
harm the people of Trinidad and
Tobago," it added.
Khan has admitted his statement
may have been irresponsible and said
he had instructed his communication
department to issue an apology.
However, the Chinese Society said:
"On the streets, in business places,
in person, on the phone and on the
social media, we are constantly being
singled out and harassed.
"As adults we find these grossly
unfair insults hard to bear but we are
even more terrified of the potential
for it to degenerate further into worse
attacks on our weaker family mem-
bers, particularly on our children,
who will be subject to direct bullying
and ridicule when they start school
The society reminded that the Chi-
nese people have integrated and co-
existed in harmony in this country
for over 209 years and have a proven
track record as progressive, quiet and
"Our businesses, including restau-
rants, employ thousands of local
labour and support many local sup-
pliers. Socially, culturally and eco-
nomically, we are an integral part of
the Trinidadian fabric. We have
always tried to give back and support
the country that we love. It is our
Speaking about its effort to engen-
der greater co-operation between the
people of China and T&T, the society
referred to the three teams of spe-
cialist Chinese surgeons, including
neurologists and cardiologists, who
are providing the country with skills
not readily available locally.
The Chinese Associations have
assisted many local institutions and
it also established The Confucius
Institute to teach the Chinese lan-
guage and culture to foster greater
understanding and peace. It also
teaches Mandarin at schools for free.
The society said: " It is most unfor-
tunate that after so many years of
silence we of Chinese extract find
ourselves having to raise our voices
and call on the minister to retract his
unfounded statements for the harm
it has caused."
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
For their Trincity, Port-of-Spain & Gulf City outlets
25 - 40 yrs, must have at least 3 years experience,
attractive remuneration package.
Send resume to: P.O Box #9538 Piarco.
6.1000 6.2239 6.3733
4.5693 4.8098 5.0743
9.1479 9.6294 10.2610
6.3939 6.7304 7.1410
****** 0.0501 0.0531
2.0984 2.2809 2.4406
* 2.5519 ****** 3.2507
for JULY 20TH, 2015
China Society fighting to regain trust
Scotiabank employees, from left, vice-president of Caribbean Contact Centres
(English and Spanish) Reuben Canagaratnam, senior manager of sales and
service T&T Contact Centre Michelle Eligon and retail banking officer T&T
Contact Centre Jesse Sorzano receive the bank's call centre awards for call
centre world class certification and customer service during a recognition
ceremony. A statement said the bank has once again been certified "world
class" by the Service Quality Measurement (SQM) Call Centre Awards. It said
the bank's Call Centre was awarded for the highest customer service in the
Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan has apologised to
the country on what has been deemed as not only
offending statements but also comments which may
have negatively affected many Chinese restaurants.
In his defence Khan said he was given wrong infor-
mation which prompted him to make the comments.
Earlier this month, Khan advised the nation to go
vegetarian he weighed in on the horror of a dog being
skinned by a Chinese-looking man in a video which
had gone viral on social media.
It was said the incident occurred in west Trinidad.
"We normally have stray dogs and one wonders if
the Chinese restaurants, those which have sprung up
all over the place have been serving dog meat and
"So I think the time is right because if one becomes
a vegetarian they will not end up in that position.
They will lose weight. This is something we have a
look at seriously," Khan had said.
He had also said some of the Chinese nationals
might have brought some of their culture to T&T but
had added that there was little that could be done to
"The Food and Drug Act addresses the importation
of food items but it does not cover an issue like this.
When you mix food with MSG---vetsin that is---it soft-
ens the meat. The taste will change as well as the
meat consistence, and it will look like beef, pork, or
"So one has to be extremely careful what they are
eating," Khan had advised.
It was reported that many Chinese business owners
had complained of poor sales following the com-
Photos of the dead dog tied with rope, hanging
from a roof near a Chinese restaurant were also posted
on social media last week.
It was suggested that the act was done deliberately
to antagonise the Chinese business nearby and create
animosity toward them.
In a statement issued by Khan yesterday he said
he was out of the country and upon his return he
learned that the statements he had made regarding
the "preparation of a dog for consumption" had
offended a major sector of the society.
"I wish to categorically state that at no time in
commenting on the situation did I intend to offend,
hurt or disrespect anyone or group of persons.
"I recognise the contribution of the Chinese people
in the development of T&T and within my own min-
istry in both the construction of several new facilities
and the breakthrough surgeries performed in the areas
of cardiology and neurology," Khan added.
He said the information that was supplied to him
was "indeed incorrect," adding that he responded to
said incorrect information.
"Those statements have caused hurt and despair
to our Chinese brothers and sisters. For this, I humbly
apologise," Khan said.
He added that he did not instruct the Public Health
Inspectorate to investigate all Chinese restaurants and
therefore there was no such ongoing "witch hunt."
"In fact I have always encouraged the Public Health
Inspectorate to execute their duties at all times and
to ensure that food for public consumption is properly
prepared in a sanitised environment.
"Further, during my tenure as minister, I have con-
tinuously advocated healthy lifestyles for children and
adults and therefore my statement regarding the
pursuit of a vegetarian lifestyle in that regard," Khan
He said the cultures of the many varied races within
T&T have long been the backbone of the society and
it was important that citizens continue to live in an
environment of respect and understanding.
Khan: I'm sorry for 'dog meat' remarks
Links Archive July 20th 2015 July 22nd 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page