Editorial : Unfair amendment to the fugitive law

【明報專訊】THE government's proposal to amend the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance but exempt nine offences for the transfer of fugitives has sparked controversy. The government maintains that not all the excluded offences are commercial crimes. However, if examined in detail, the new plan is obviously tailor-made for the business community and one can hardly see any sound criteria for the exemption. It is true that politics is the art of compromise, but there is a prerequisite: the basic principles or social justice must not be sacrificed. As all are equal before the law, on no grounds should white-collar offenders enjoy the privilege of being exempted from extradition. The government has so far emphasised that the amendment is aimed at plugging legal loopholes and preventing Hong Kong from becoming the fugitives' paradise. However, the latest proposal in fact goes against that original intention and may turn Hong Kong into a haven to business criminals. That will undermine the existing legal framework of Hong Kong and send an extremely negative message to society. The new proposal to the amendment is a complete travesty; it is unfair and unjust. Such kind of privilege-reinforcing arrangement is worse than no amendment at all.