Hong Leong Racist Ad
The ad in which a Chinese man is dressed up as a Filipino maid has been called racist.Hong Leong Bank

A commercial for Malaysia's Hong Leong Bank has been described as "racist" due to its negative depiction of Filipino domestic workers.

The commercial for an insurance product is aimed at the employers of Hong Kong's domestic helpers, most of whom come from the Philippines and Indonesia.

The ad shows a male Chinese actor wearing a curly, black wig and impersonating a Filipino maid who is seen clumsily performing household chores.

Organizations representing the 300,000 maids who work in Hong Kong have demanded an apology from the bank.

Eni Lestari, spokeswoman for the Asian Migrants Coordinating Body which aims to protect the rights of migrant and local domestic workers from exploitation said the bank should have hired someone from Indonesia or the Philippines to play the role of the maid.

"I think they should make a public apology. You are making comedy out of someone, out of a community. For (Hong Kong residents) it's funny, but what they don't realize is what's funny is actually racist."

The commercial has also sparked outrage on social media with members of the public demanding an apology for the offensive ad.

A Facebook user wrote: "If you want to make an ad regarding DH please make it right. I am domestic helper but I more look like a Chinese and most domestic helper are strong and not clumsy... aren't you tired for being a racist?"

Social media user Kahlil Stultz said: "You guys should really take down that ad and apologise for it... It's really not appropriate for a professional representation of your financial services."

The Malaysian bank has not commented on the commercial, not issued an apology. They have however removed from the link to the commercial.

The latest outrage in Hong Kong comes just weeks after a controversy over a school textbook, which encouraged children to distinguish their neighbours on racial grounds.