Negative fung shui from the massive Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge has been linked by chiefs of a north Lantau village to a spate of deaths that have left older residents in fear.
Residents of 600-year-old Pak Mong village near Tung Chung have hung protest banners at the nearby construction site and demanded the government pay for 10 tun fun ceremonies per month during the work. The traditional ceremonies are conducted to prevent damage to fung shui.
It is the latest controversy for the HK$83 billion bridge, long criticised for its massive cost and its impact on the environment. It is due to open in 2016.
About 30 people live in the village, although 230 people trace their history back to it. Some 210 of them are considered indigenous villagers because their family history there dates to before 1899. Eight people - four who were residents and four who had moved away - have died since construction began in 2012, said village chief Cheung Chee-hung.
"We didn't know what the government was building, nor have we seen the bridge designs before. We then called in a fung shui master," Cheung said.
"Now all the old people in the village are afraid every day. No one knows who may be next," said another village chief, Kwok Shue-yan, whose family has lived in the village for generations.
The trouble stems, they say, from four bridges between Lantau and a new artificial island. The village is between two of the bridges, an arrangement described in fung shui as like being between two swords.
Talks between village representatives, the Lands Department and the Home Affairs Department broke down on Wednesday and villagers have since tied banners around the site, at the bottom of a road leading to the village, and tried to stop construction workers from working.
"We feel that the government is very insincere," Cheung said, adding that a discretionary government allowance of up to HK$30,000 per project was "of course not enough".
He declined to say how much villagers had asked for.
Requests for comment from the government yesterday had not been answered at the time of going to press.