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English>>China Society

'Uncivilized behavior' regulated

By Guo Kai (Global Times)

13:32, July 24, 2012

Shenzhen, a southern coastal city in Guangdong Province, which is a pioneer of China's opening-up and reform policies is now planning to introduce regulations that will punish uncivilized behavior.

The Standing Committee of the Shenzhen Municipal People's Congress is now collecting public opinion on the proposed regulations that are likely to include requiring violators to perform community services and publish personal apologies, and lowering a person's credit rating. Those who engage in uncivilized behavior can also be fined and detained.

"The new forms of punishment are based on the experience of Singapore," a senior official from the committee, Dai Guangyu, was quoted in Mondays' People's Daily as saying.
"It will be the most extensive and difficult legislation since the city was granted legislative rights," Dai said.

Singaporean laws include fines for spitting on the street.

The standing committee said 81,000 residents filled out questionnaires during the first round of public consultations.

The most egregious bad behaviors were found to be occupying public areas for private use, littering and posting notices on public property.

The city plans to introduce 49 so-called uncivilized behaviors that are to be regulated.

The committee is now asking for public input on punishment mechanisms that will limit the discretion of law enforcers.

The majority of commentators on the Internet appreciated the city's attempt to regulate uncivilized behavior and hope to see their city's social environment improve.

Mu Yifei, a renowned commentator, said on his Sina microblog that he hopes the proposed rules raise standards of behavior. "Uneducated nationals are always the inferior," he wrote tersely.

Zhang Zhuting, a law professor at the Transport Management Institute under the Ministry of Transport, told the Global Times that he supports the city's efforts but thinks the committee may not have the legislative powers to impose some of the proposed punishments.

"Commonly, local legislative bodies could only refer to fines and warnings in their regulations. Only the National People's Congress or the State Council can require community service," Zhang said.

Zhang also noted that uncivilized behavior can sometimes be open to subjective interpretation.

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