Equal Opportunities Commission


Press Releases

Press Releases

EOC Takes Enforcement Proceedings in Taxi Driver Case


The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) today announced that it would be taking enforcement proceedings against Mr. KO Chuen, the taxi driver found to have harassed Dr. MA Bik Yung, a wheelchair user, on the ground of her disability. Mr. KO was ordered to pay damages of $10,000 to Dr. Ma and this amount is outstanding.

Ms. Anna WU, Chairperson of the EOC, explained that enforcement action is necessary in view of Mr. KO's attitude from the outset. "The Court of Final Appeal (CFA) upheld the finding that Dr. MA was treated in a humiliating manner and subjected to unlawful treatment," said Ms. WU. "The case proceeded on the basis that Mr. KO was not contrite or repentant. The CFA stated that the harassment suffered by Dr. MA must be condemned and that, by outlawing such conduct, the community has made it clear that such behaviour will not be tolerated in our society."

"The CFA considered that the amount of damages was on the low side in all the circumstances, and commented that where defendants refuse to apologise for their conduct, the courts should consider increasing the amount of damages. Yet, in this case," added Ms. WU, "the defendant has not only refused to apologise for his behaviour, he now claims he cannot comply with the order for damages. This adds insult to injury, as this case has never been one about money. It has been about obtaining redress. All Dr. MA ever sought from the defendant was an acknowledgement by him that his treatment of her was humiliating and upsetting."

"I would have been happy with just an apology", stated Dr. MA. "In fact, I am happy to forego any damages even now, if only Mr. KO would apologise for his behaviour towards me. It is not easy to be a person in a wheelchair. It is difficult enough to be immobile and have access to transport and services, but when people treat us badly, or subject us to insulting and humiliating behaviour because of our disability, it makes matters worse."

Ms. WU pointed out that this matter has been quite an ordeal for Dr. MA. "We must ensure that persons who are vulnerable have the confidence to speak out against wrongs committed against them, without fear of reprisal and with confidence and faith that the law will be upheld by those found to have done wrong."

Justice BOKHARY in his judgment commended Dr. MA for having taken the action. He said, "Having undergone a most distressing experience, she has had the courage to come to court because there was a principle to vindicate."

Enquiry: EOC Hotline            25118211