Officials consider payment for hero

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 May, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 May, 1996, 12:00am

Officials are considering how much compensation should be awarded to crippled robbery hero Yeung Hoi-keung, legislators were told.

Secretary for Security Peter Lai Hing-ling said the Government was planning to grant an ex-gratia payment to Mr Yeung in recognition of his bravery.

Mr Yeung was paralysed after being shot while chasing a robber in 1989 and has spent the past seven years in hospital.

Officials were working out how to pay the compensation and how much the amount should be.

'Though the Government bears no legal responsibility to him, we should praise him and secure stable living conditions for him and his family,' he said.

Mr Yeung was on Tuesday given a community service award by Governor Chris Patten.

He was awarded $797,260 by a court for his injuries, but has a bill for about $200,000 legal aid fees and has to repay to the Social Welfare Department an emergency loan of about $100,000.

The Governor rejected legislator Andrew Cheng Kar-foo's plan to move a resolution in Legco to give financial help to Mr Yeung under the Public Finance Ordinance.

Mr Patten said the Government had the authority to make an ex-gratia award, and Legco approved a sum of money annually in the Budget to cover such expenses.

According to Secretary for the Treasury Kwong Ki-chi, the Government had to decide whether it should shoulder legal responsibility and ascertain the degree of damage to the victim before considering compensation under the Public Finance Ordinance.

Mr Cheng said the Government had decided to give an ex-gratia payment to stop legislators having a say on the amount of money given to Mr Yeung.

Mr Cheng said the last time a person was compensated under the ordinance was in 1969.

He said he would continue to lobby to have a resolution over compensation moved in Legco, either by himself or the Government.