Plea to give deaf their say

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 March, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 March, 2000, 12:00am

A row erupted yesterday after a veteran advocate claimed that elderly deaf people were not being properly represented on the Occupational Deafness Compensation Board.

Chairman of the Hong Kong Occupational Deafness Association Wong Tam-kwai accused employee representatives on the board, Tsang Bun and Cheung Wood-lun, of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, of failing to speak up for the elderly deaf.

Mr Wong urged the Government to allow elderly deaf people to sit on the board.

His call came as dozens of elderly deaf protested outside the offices of the Education and Manpower Bureau in Central demanding compensation for occupational injury.

The board's employee representatives said any amendment to the Occupational Deafness (Compensation) 1997 legislation should be accomplished in Legco, not at board level.

Mr Tsang said people with unimpaired hearing could take care of the needs of those afflicted by deafness.

'I am appointed to the position by the Government. I come from a worker's background despite now being retired. I think I'm qualified to do my job,' Mr Tsang said.