Egg narrowly misses Patten at disputed hostel

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 March, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 24 March, 1995, 12:00am

AN egg was dropped from a housing block when Governor Chris Patten yesterday visited two facilities for the mentally handicapped in a Kowloon City estate, spattering just a few steps from him.

Police are investigating the incident, which Mr Patten believes might involve one of the few remaining opponents of the mentally handicapped hostel and Down's Syndrome centre at Tung Tau Estate.

The egg fell from a Kwai Tung House flat when Mr Patten was leaving the hostel and heading towards the centre at the adjacent Chun Tung House.

It landed about three metres behind Mr Patten in the throng of officials, which included Housing Authority chief Rosanna Wong Yick-ming, but no one was hit.

Police have classified the case as 'an object falling from a height'.

Mr Patten admitted there had been hostility from some residents when the hostel was planned two years ago.

'I think that has largely disappeared over the months and years that the hostel has been operating,' he said.

'But there are obviously one or two people who still resent it being here,' he added.

After criticising the Government for setting up the hostel without prior consultation, residents tried to prevent workers from furnishing the hostel two years ago, in the first of a series of confrontations with officials.

Even after the hostel was opened, some opponents staked out the facility every morning to photograph and video of the users, whom they feared would jeopardise their safety.

The dispute erupted again last year as the Government prepared the ground floor of Chun Tung House as a Down's Syndrome activity centre.

Many residents were, however, happy to meet the Governor yesterday.