A memorial service is to be held outside the Housing Department to commemorate a housing officer who set himself alight while apparently in despair at the prospect of losing his job. The service would be held on March 13 in protest against the department's refusal to guarantee staff there would be no compulsory redundancies under a privatisation scheme, a union spokesman said yesterday. 'The action is a gesture to tell the department its redundancy plan has scared many colleagues,' said Alliance of Housing Staff Unions convenor Lam Man-cheuk. Tong Chi-kwong, 40, died on Monday night, four days after setting himself alight. He had been responsible for minor repairs at public housing estates and was said to have been suffering from depression since the department announced a voluntary redundancy scheme. The service will also remember another housing officer who hanged himself last December. The union believes his suicide was also prompted by the fear of losing his job. 'The death of Tong has sent colleagues' morale sinking to a new low,' said Mr Lam. 'I am worried that some colleagues may follow Tong's example if the department continues to ignore our calls.' The redundancy scheme offers extra compensation on top of the usual pension to pave the way for the department's privatisation scheme. A spokeswoman for the Housing Department said it had been in contact with Tong's family and would help them to apply for death gratuities. She refused to comment on the memorial service.