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EDITORIAL: Chan's debt to society still unpaid

When Richmond's Yau Chun Stuart Chan was sentenced to two-years less a day in jail for the Sept. 15, 2002 driving-related death of RCMP Const. Jimmy Ng, the court made it clear what debt he owed to society.

But a decade later, Ng's parents are still grieving in a way only other parents who have lost a child can relate to, and gnawing at them is the fact that Chan didn't fulfill one of his most important commitments to the community.

Chan turned 29 last month, but it remains to be seen whether he's really matured.

He's certainly not the freshly-minted 19-year-old, who got behind the wheel of his newly purchased Honda Civic Si-R and drove at 130 kilometres per hour through a red light, killing Ng who was in a police cruiser while out on community patrols.

Today, Chan lives a relatively anonymous existence in an apartment overlooking Garden City Park, just a block from where his mom, dad and sister live.

Somehow, through a justice system that simply dropped the ball, Chan was allowed to avoid making a street-racing related presentation to his high-school peers as he'd once promised.

While indicating to a probation officer that he was ready to give the presentation, Chan suddenly stopped answering his phone, and couldn't be reached.

As soon as his sentence was completed, there was no legal mechanism remaining to force him to make that presentation.

It's something that Ng's parents, Dr. Chris and Therese Ng, wanted to witness but never happened.

But it's not too late.

If Chan has become a man, he can finally give some closure to a couple who is now childless by displaying some maturity and fulfilling that promise made so long ago.

As every day passes, he's again thumbing his nose at the court system, the community, the memory of Jimmy Ng and of course his parents.

There's a saying that a man is only as good as his word.

Until that street-racing presentation happens, Chan's debt to society will remain unpaid.

And some would argue, in their eyes, he'll remain morally bankrupt.

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