Fortune teller Shih Neng-pen recently picked an auspicious fortune stick that gave him hope that he would win the fight for his mentally handicapped son to stay in Hong Kong. But his hopes were dashed by an ultimatum handed down by the Immigration Department last week. Mr Shih, 77, was told by the department on Friday that his son, Sze Ching-yuen, would have to leave Hong Kong by Friday next week, rejecting his appeal that his son be allowed to stay on humanitarian grounds. A report compiled by Queen Mary Hospital last month showed that Mr Sze, 47, suffers moderate to severe mental retardation and needs help with daily activities and personal care. He became handicapped after contracting an infection of the central nervous system when he was eight. The Immigration Department declined to comment on the case. But officers are believed to have not exercised their discretionary powers in this case because Mr Sze has two teenage children living in the family's hometown in Fujian. According to a relative of Mr Sze's in Hong Kong, his wife left him many years ago after failing to come to terms with his mental disabilities. 'His two children, whom I have met on the mainland, do not know how to take care of him. They look down on their father because of his mental disabilities,' the relative said. Mr Shih makes a living reading people's fortunes under a footbridge in North Point. He arranged for his son to come to Hong Kong on a two-way permit after a relative who was caring for him died in 2000. Mr Sze overstayed as his family fought for his right to settle in the city.