Award for official who died drinking revoked

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 14 March, 2008, 12:00am

Following public outcry, Xin county authorities in Henan province have revoked honours awarded posthumously to an official who died after a night of heavy drinking.

The head of the Communist Party's county publicity department, Liu Yaolin, was quoted by Xinhua as saying that the county's party committee had withdrawn a 'level-three order of merit for an individual' awarded to Guo Shizhong , Xin's former family planning commission director.

The 46-year-old official went to a karaoke bar with nine local officials and hired hostesses after dinner on February 26.

'No one noticed anything unusual when Mr Guo, who boasted of a having a great capacity for liquor, drank only about 150ml of Chinese white wine,' recalled one of the officials at the scene.

Guo later felt sick and was sent to hospital before midnight, the official added, but he was pronounced dead from a brain haemorrhage early the next morning.

Mr Liu praised Guo's commitment to work despite a series of long-standing illnesses including high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

He said Guo was still an 'outstanding communist'.

Xinyang , the city that oversees Xin county, is famed for its enforcement of the 'ban of liquor' campaign, which forbids government employees of all stripes from consuming alcohol at lunchtime on workdays.

An official figure suggested that authorities had saved roughly 43 million yuan (HK$47.2 million) since the prohibition order was enacted.