Alimony plea for HK wives

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 25 March, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 25 March, 1995, 12:00am

LEGISLATORS have called for stricter rules to make men who keep concubines across the border pay alimony to their wives in Hong Kong.

Legislative Councillor Lee Cheuk-yan said home visit permits and travel documents should be confiscated as a punishment to those who refused to pay.

'More stringent rules should be applied to tackle the problem. Can they be blacklisted? Is there a method to force them to pay?' he said.

The requests came at a Legislative Council health and welfare panel yesterday. They follow recent suggestions by Independent member Eric Li Ka-cheung who said it should be made a criminal offence for a married man to cohabitate with a mainland woman.

But members were yesterday told their suggestions would be difficult to implement.

Principal Assistant Secretary for Home Affairs, Robin Mcleish, said it would be difficult to collect evidence to prove a husband was simultaneously living with another woman on the mainland.

He also rejected calls to outlaw men who had cohabitated for more than two years, saying they could easily get round such a rule by coming back before two years were up.

The legislators also expressed concerns about how the Government could protect women left behind from financial difficulties.

Assistant director of the Social Welfare Department, Patricia Chu Yeung Pak-yu, said they would discuss the issue with mainland social workers at a future date.