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Good Samaritans deserve respect for their deeds

China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-12 07:27

LI XIUGUO, a farmer from Central China's Henan province, disappeared while trying to save five people from drowning in the Yellow River in neighboring Shandong province. Yet when his family applied for the honorary title of Good Samaritan for him, officials from both provinces rejected their plea. Huashang Daily comments:

Li Chuanfei, Li Xiuguo's son, collected ample evidence and oral testimonies from witnesses and the rescued people, proving that his father disappeared while helping to save other people. He also completed the necessary paperwork for the application.

Yet local officials of both provinces rejected the family's plea. In Heze, Shandong province, where the tragedy occurred, local officials said they only bestow the honor of Good Samaritan on people with local hukou (household registration). In Li's hometown of Puyang, Henan province, local officials said they give the honor to only those people who have done an exceptionally good deed within their jurisdiction.

Since Li was a resident of Henan and he saved people in Shandong, the officials from both cities are passing the buck to one another.

The government encourages ordinary citizens to help those in need. And the honorary title of Good Samaritan was introduced so that people can get some bonus money along with the honor for their heroic deeds.

But it seems the local officials are rather rigid when it comes to bestowing the honor on an ordinary resident. By setting various limits on potential recipients of the honorary title, they are denying the good Samaritans the honor they deserve.

In Li's case, the local governments of the two cities should discuss and decide how he can be given the Good Samaritan title, instead of acting irresponsibly.

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