Geomancer takes arson attack in cosmic stride

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 27 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 27 July, 2013, 3:16am

A fortune teller who prepared nine buckets of water, expecting a "fire attack" by an angry client, says he has learned to take whatever life throws at him.

Although it was the first time a client had confronted him about a prediction in his 20 years in the business, Yeo Wai-ho said the incident, which saw his office set alight, was a test for him to control his emotions.

And it all boiled down to a simple philosophy.

"When you are lucky, you enjoy the good fortune you have; when luck is not with you, you learn to enjoy life," Yeo, who is widely known as Yeung tin-ming, told the South China Morning Post. Although it may be difficult for some people to live their lives this way, Yeo maintains that "you must believe the worst will soon be over".

Yeo, 48, said he had elected not to defend himself against the accusations of his client, Roewe Lok Wai, as he was a low-profile person.

Lok, 42, blamed Yeo for "inaccurate predictions" that he took into consideration when deciding to relocate to Shanghai. The move resulted in the collapse of his family and business.

He bought a bottle of paint thinner on January 9 and lit a fire outside Yeo's office in Causeway Bay.

Yeo said the incident served as a lesson on how to cope with unavoidable misfortune.

Despite being a fung shui master, he said, he sometimes found himself helping clients confront their personal problems rather than foretelling their future.

Some people would approach him for help to find a job, when in fact their problems were due to emotional issues rather than a bad patch in their lives, Yeo said.

If the client was really experiencing a downturn, he said, he would advise waiting for the right moment to arrive.

Yeo, who believes in Buddhism, said he thanked God for the divine revelation he received about the attack.

He said Lok had been creating trouble at his office since December. That made him uneasy, so he turned to divination and concluded a fire attack was imminent early this year.

He was thankful the fire did little damage, since he had prepared the buckets of water - and his staff - well in advance, he said.

On the baby of Prince William and his wife Kate, Yeo had another prediction to make: Baby George would grow up to be an independent, clever thinker who was attractive to women.

Lok pleaded guilty to one count of arson with intent to endanger life at the District Court on Wednesday and will be sentenced on August 14.