Ho-tak not forgotten

I WONDER why so little was done to save Hai Ho-tak the pain of being separated from his family.

Chris Patten has frequently talked about human rights abuses in China and yet he has shown no concern for this little boy who committed no crime.

Worst of all, he was kept away, lonely and frightened, from his parents before he was repatriated.

He was not even allowed to spend his last days with his family.

I cannot believe Hong Kong (a very developed and civilised place) would think of this way to torture a child.

Even though government officials said it was a matter of ''policy'', many people asked the Governor to let the boy stay for humanitarian reasons.

I recall the two British girls found guilty of drug smuggling in Thailand, who faced long prison sentences and were freed because British Prime Minister John Major asked for mercy. However, these girls had done something wrong.

Little Ho-tak did nothing to deserve this torture and punishment.

Mr Patten has a family.

As a parent, surely he can understand the feelings of this boy's parents.

How would he feel if his family was forcibly split up? So why not show some mercy Mr Patten? I feel sorry for Hong Kong, because the Governor seems to be only concerned with human rights abuses as they relate to China and with picking fights with the mainland government.

Ho-tak was sent back immediately, because Mr Patten thought once he is gone, everything will be forgotten.

He should think again. I am disgusted by what has happened.

Let none of us, whether members of the public, or the media, forget the plight of this young boy, even though this is what the Government wants us to do.

We should send him cards and letters, so that he knows we still care.

I hope that Lu Ping and other Chinese officials will take an interest in his case.

In this way, they could prove to the people of Hong Kong that they are not merely interested in political matters, but they are also concerned about people's welfare.

I am sure that if the Chinese authorities did express an interest in his case, Ho-tak would soon be allowed a one-way permit out of a country which he does not know and back to the arms of his loved ones.

J. TONG Wan Chai