A farming family accusing property tycoon Lee Shau-kee of lying marched on his headquarters yesterday to demand he keep a promise to find them a suitable alternative after he donated their land for cheap flats.
The Chan family's 20,000 sq ft farm in Yuen Long is part of a 63,500 sq ft site that the Henderson Land chief plans to give to the Housing Society.
Chan Wai-ming said Tin Heung Garden on Shap Pat Heung Road, where he had lived for 20 years and raised three children, "is where my roots lie".
"Without the farm, all my efforts would be in vain," he said. "It's my blood and sweat. They can't take it away."
The family and about 20 supporters marched from the General Post Office to the Henderson headquarters in Central yesterday afternoon.
Chan said Lee made the promise on television in August last year when he announced the plan to donate the land.
Since then, everyone who came to buy his flowers had told him what a nice person Lee was, Chan said.
But he had lost touch with the company since December. Chan's calls and messages went unanswered and he said he was worried that the tycoon nicknamed "Uncle Four" might not keep his promise.
"It seems like he wants to lie to all Hong Kong people," he said.
Labour Party community organiser Lam Cho-ming said the party had represented the family in discussions with Henderson.
He said the company offered four sites but none had any infrastructure so it would have been impossible to farm there.
Henderson had promised to keep looking, but the party had been unable to reach the company since before Christmas.
Marcher Chan Wing-yan, an 18-year-old Form Six pupil, said she hoped the farming tradition would not be swept away.
"I'm here because I need to defend the lifestyle I want," she said. "There's more than one mode of life."
A Henderson spokeswoman said the group had been in touch with Chan and it hoped to reach agreement on a solution. "We will continue our talks," she said.