When it comes to community engagement and support for its frontline officers, Sau Mau Ping District (SMPDIST) does not spare any effort. Recently, SMPDIST, in collaboration with the Hong Kong Christian Service - Centre for Harmony and Enhancement of Ethnic Minority Residents (HKCS-CHEER), arranged for the Centre to offer eight talks for officers on their training days in May. The talks highlighted the daily life and cultures of the ethnic minorities, and interpretation and translation services for the Non-ethnic Chinese (NEC).
The HKCS-CHEER provides telephone interpretation service (TELIS) from seven ethnic minority languages (Bahasa Indonesia, Tagalog, Thai, Hindi, Nepali, Punjabi and Urdu) to English and vice versa. There are three hotlines to provide the free-of-charge service round the clock.
The talks received a good response from the officers attending the training days. With a great interest in the daily life and cultures of the ethnic minorities, some officers were eager to know how to effectively communicate with the NEC in order to reduce misunderstandings arising from cultural gaps. In addition, most officers, particularly those from Patrol Sub-units and Report Room, found the TELIS useful because they often receive requests for assistance or enquiries from the ethnic minorities. When Chinese and English cannot help, the service comes in handy.
The TELIS hotlines are 3755-6811 for Bahasa Indonesia, Tagalog and Thai; 3755-6822 for Hindi and Nepali; and 3755-6833 for Punjabi and Urdu.