“Yanne cece kong kongtung wa jeng jo tik, hamaia?”
(You speak Cantonese very well, you must from Indonesia, don’t you?)
This is the most common commentaries from some people in Hong Kong which I’ve ever received from my employer and I often heard when I am hanging out.
It’s a common knowledge, that Indonesian Migrant Workers who work in Hong Kong own a better capability on speaking Cantonese rather than migrants from other countries. That is why people in Hong Kong tend to choose Indonesian migrant worker to take care of their elder parents while they’re busy working. This is also happening to me, my employer who used to employ a housemaid from Philippines, then employ me from Indonesia in the reason of language barrier.
I often witnessed many housemaid from Philippines found hard to communicate with cashier in supermarket since they only speak English while not every seller in market or supermarket cashier in Hong Kong are able to speak in English. Me and other friends from Indonesia often asked to translate each other dialogue.
The amount of migrant from Indonesia and Philippines who work in informal sector is quite close to each other, but we may proudly claim that Indonesian migrant workers are have a better quality in terms of language capability. Many people in Hong Kong, especially who employ migrants, also concur that Indonesian migrant workers have a better Cantonese speaking ability. This is also a value for Indonesian migrant worker who can speak both English and Cantonese.
The only unsolved problem is that Indonesian migrant workers still underpay. Ideally, as they could compete with their outstanding capabilities, they may enjoy equality with other migrants which have their full salary as regulated by the law.