Lawmaker says government needs database of Hong Kong’s mentally disabled

Lawmaker Elizabeth Quat suggested Thursday that the government establish a database for the mentally disabled to avoid the “mishandling” of criminal cases.

The comments were made in reference to the recent wrongful arrest of a mentally disabled man for manslaughter.

Quat, who belongs to the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, wrote the letter to Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung, saying the police lack adequate experience handling peeple with mental disabilities.

She posted the letter on her Facebook page:


建議為弱智人士設立自願登記名冊 近日發生了一宗警方誤拘一名弱智人士事件,以及多年前亦曾出現入境事務處將一名弱智人士當作內地兒童送往深圳的情況。這反映了政府各部門的前線人員,缺乏辨認及支援弱智人士的指引及經驗。就此,我今天去信勞福局局…

Posted by 葛珮帆 Elizabeth Quat on Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Quat suggested the Labour and Welfare Bureau should register mentally disabled citizens, including their personal details and corresponding social worker. Authorities could therefore authenticate the identity of people appearing or claiming to be mentally handicapped, she explains in the letter.

She believes her initiative could safeguard the rights and privacy of mentally disabled citizens, and minimise the risk of human error on the part of the authorities. Quat added it would also lower the chances of people refusing to cooperate with authorities by pretending to be mentally disabled.

However, her letter quickly drew ridicule from Hong Kong netizens, who have shared the Facebook post 700 times as of the time of writing. 

Photo: via Elizabeth Quat’s Facebook page


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