Hung Shui Kiu villagers call for end to new town development plan

Consultation proceeds peacefully, but Hung Shui Kiu residents still angry at new town project

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 08 September, 2013, 3:50am

Villagers whose homes sit on the proposed site for a new town called on the government to kill off the plan and stop their homes from being bulldozed when they met officials yesterday.

About 300 people living in villages in Hung Shui Kiu went along to a government consultative session, with many saying they did not think the project was necessary and voicing concerns about compensation.

In contrast to a public forum attended by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying in Tin Shui Wai last month, protests yesterday were small-scale and peaceful. Rural leader Tsang Shu-wo, who was seen with a group of pro-Leung protesters in Tin Shui Wai, said he did not organise any protests because "Leung is not here".

"This is a consultation session, not a protest session. The attending officials are more concerned about development of the district," he said.

Tsang conceded he had some connection to an earlier report of a meeting between the police and a triad faction leader. The report said the police had warned a triad gang not to cause any trouble in the consultation session. "Oh, South China Morning Post? How did you know I met with the police?" he said. "That's very normal. I see the police all the time. Good relations between the police and the public are important." The meeting was "nothing special". "We did talk a bit about the arrangement [yesterday]."

In the consultation meeting, Wan Shui-ling, who has lived in Yick Yuen village for more than 20 years, said it would be impossible to continue their way of rural living once the village was razed.

Some indigenous villagers also said there would be less space for them to build village houses if the plan went ahead.