Peng Yu, media whore and old lady pusher
Many of you have probably already heard the story of “Nanjing Peng Yu” – the Chinese man who, in 2006, helped an old injured woman to the hospital and got sued for his troubles. The iconic case has been used as an explanation for the lack of Good Samaritans in China, as most of the public fears repercussion for getting involved with strangers’ injuries. But in an incredibly sick twist six years after the fact, this week we find out that Peng actually DID push that old woman off the bus!
Adam Minter has more, from Bloomberg:
…In what seems to be one of the great scoops in recent Chinese journalism, the state-owned news magazine Oriental Weekly rcevealed the content of some newly discovered and disclosed documents. According to the trove, Peng Yu not only confessed to knocking over that supposedly greedy granny in 2006, but he actively solicited the local news media and online forum moderators to promote him as a martyred Good Samaritan.
On top of that, reports Oriental Weekly, he and Xu Shuolin secretly agreed on a modest financial settlement and had the decision sealed. So far as the two major players in China’s most notorious court decision were concerned, nobody ever had to know the truth of the matter.
The revelation that Peng collided with Xu, alone, would have been enough to send China’s microbloggers into paroxysms of recriminations. But what made the Oriental Weekly’s discovery so much more potent, and so much more infuriating, was the revelation that law enforcement officials in Nanjing had received testimony and other evidence to the effect that Peng had knocked over Xu. Why was this testimony and documentation only released this week?
Most of the blame has landed on party officials who concealed the truth of the matter until now. Plenty more on that and other reactions in the Bloomberg piece, which is well worth a read in its entirety.
The topic is particularly poignant for Chinese right now in the wake of numerous shocking instances of social apathy, most notably in the case of Yue Yue, the two-year-old left to die in the street. Legislators are still struggling to draft laws designed to protect those who stop to help.
Seniors accused of pretending to fall and extorting money from Good Samaritans
Lu Xun on the rarity of Good Samaritans in China
Controversy over health ministry guidelines on helping old folks who’ve fallen down