No honour for drinker

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 December, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 December, 2009, 12:00am

A Shenzhen traffic police bureau chief who proposed posthumously honouring an officer who died from drinking has been suspended from duty.

Xie Feiyong, the head of the Xixiang township traffic bureau in Baoan district, was suspended from his position and his application to honour the dead officer, Chen Lusheng , as a 'hero' was rejected, The Southern Metropolis News reported, citing a police spokesman.

Chen was found dead at around 10pm on October 29 after a meal with seven colleagues, including Xie, and a number of village officials.

According to the report, which cited a waiter, the guests ordered rare delicacies including shark's fin soup, birds and exotic animals. The waiter said one guest had brought along about three litres of cognac.

The story has been a major talking point on mainland online forums. Internet users were critical of the police chief.

A Shenzhen businessman familiar with the city's traffic police was not surprised to read the news.

'As far as I know, many traffic police in Shenzhen have a high tolerance for liquor,' he said. 'I often have meals with them when they come off duty at 7pm. Four or five of us usually manage to consume two litres of rice wine, which is more than 50 per cent alcohol.'

According to the People's Daily, more than 200 billion yuan (HK$226 billion) of public funds are spent on official wining and dining each year.