Bid for equal rights in NT

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 September, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 September, 1993, 12:00am

A LAW on equal rights may be extended to allow women to inherit property in the New Territories.

A source said yesterday the Government was examining ways of getting rid of the sexual inequality in the New Territories Ordinance, which discriminated against not only the 350,000 indigenous residents, but also the region's entire 2.2 million population.

One option was to extend the application of the Intestates' Estates Ordinance to overrule the New Territories Ordinance.

The New Territories Ordinance, enacted in 1910, states that ancestral land is inherited by the male line unless it is willed to a woman family member.

The Intestates' Estates Ordinance, which applies to all areas in Hong Kong except the New Territories, says men and women have an equal right to inherit family property.

The issue drew public concern when the Housing Authority confirmed this month that the inheritance of Home Ownership Scheme flats in the New Territories came under the New Territories Ordinance.

Newly leased land had been exempted from the New Territories Ordinance by the Governor since July.

It is estimated that 300,000 units could be affected by the law.