Give me a chance, says freed ex-dean

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 August, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 August, 2010, 12:00am

The former dean of the University of Hong Kong's medical school, who has been released early from prison, says he wants to make a contribution to society.

Lam Shiu-kum said he was happy and cherished the chance he had been given. He was allowed out of prison under a pre-release employment scheme after serving 11 months of a 25-month sentence for misconduct in public office. Lam admitted in September that he had induced patients to make donations and payments of almost HK$4 million to his company. 'Please give me some space. I really hope to make a contribution to society and reintegrate into society,' he said last night outside the hostel where he will be living during six months' supervision while working in the community.

Meanwhile, the Correctional Services Department said all applicants for pre-release were treated in the same way.

A member of the Release Under Supervision Board, which considers each application, said prisoners who behaved well in prison and had secured employment for the supervision period could apply for the scheme. 'Income and academic qualifications are not the factors in our consideration,' the Reverend Man Chi-on said.

But Ng Wai- tung, community organiser for the Society for Community Organisation, said some prisoners who wanted to join the scheme had difficulty finding a job while they were in prison.