The Housing Department wants to toughen up the demerit scheme that penalises public housing tenants for unhygienic or dangerous behaviour. Tenants who rack up 16 points in two years face eviction. Under the new proposals, tenants would be charged five points for smoking inside a lift or entering with a lit cigarette; seven points for selling food illegally; seven points for throwing from a height objects that dirty the area; 15 points if the objects endanger other tenants; and immediate eviction if serious injuries or death result. The department is also proposing that evicted tenants only be permitted to reapply for public housing after an interval of two years. If they are given a flat, it should not be newer, better located or on a better floor, the department said. Lau Kai-hung, deputy director of housing estate management, said the Housing Authority's subsidised housing committee would discuss the proposals on Wednesday. If approved, they would be implemented at the start of next year. Housing Authority member Wong Kwun welcomed the general direction of the new measures but warned it would be difficult to enforce them. 'Confronted with about 600,000 public housing flats, having only one team with several members to enforce it is like trying to put out a blazing cartload of faggots with a cup of water,' he said. Since the marking scheme was introduced in August 2003 in the wake of Sars, the authorities have issued over 4,300 warnings. There have been were over 3,900 demerit point cases. Until last month, four public tenants had amassed 16 points or more, including Yuen Kin-man. from Tuen Mun's Yau Oi Estate who made history by becoming the first public housing tenant to be issued with an eviction notice for littering after he defied an order to move out of his flat. Mr Yuen's neighbours labelled him a 'littering-crazy man' for his persistent rubbish dumping and hostility. He spent four months in jail for throwing bottles from his 25th-floor flat.