Thankless assignment for CSD officers

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 July, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 July, 1994, 12:00am

FOLLOWING the report of the two Justices of the Peace into the Whitehead detention centre raid, there were calls from many quarters, for the resignation of the Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Eric McCosh.

Some people also asked why the man in charge of Whitehead at the time of the raid, Senior Superintendent Jasminder Singh Kang, remained in charge after the report was released.

Some of those saying such things may do so sincerely and have no vested interests, but they are mistaken.

The Correctional Services Department (CSD) has had the unenviable task of managing the Vietnamese since 1978.

Sometimes, with its rough treatment of the Vietnamese, it has let down the Hong Kong community.

Yet at no time did I hear anyone asking why officers trained to face criminals, were given the task of dealing with poor and innocent Vietnamese.

I am sure Mr Kang would like nothing better than to leave Whitehead.

However, Mr Kang is a devoted and loyal civil servant. He knows that he has a thankless task. The least he could hope for would be that his efforts were recognised by the Government.

However, the report of the two JPs has tied the Government's hands.

It is not the Commissioner of Correctional Services or Mr Kang that I am most concerned about. My main concern is for those rank and file members of staff in correctional services, who have to work on this thankless assignment.

They look to Mr Kang for support and recognition. The report by the two JPs undermines their confidence and saddens them.

I admit there was ineptitude in handling the information released to the public. But as to the ''raid'' itself, few with experience of such things, would deny that this was the best way to minimise injury in anticipation of a possible confrontation.

It is easy to be wise after the event.

K. M. HUNG (CSD staff member) Taikoo Shing