THE Housing Authority is to spend $65 million at 160 housing blocks installing higher railings aimed at making it harder for people to climb over them and jump. The 1.2-metre railings commonly installed in designs in the late 1980s are to be replaced by 1.5-metre structures. The move, approved by the authority's building committee yesterday, has been prompted by six suicides since 1990 in Tsui Wan Estate, Chai Wan. The victims, none of them estate residents, climbed over the railings and plunged to their deaths from various floors of the 31-storey blocks. Tenants last night claimed it was a waste of money and blamed the architectural designs of the blocks for causing the problem. Social workers described it as a measure to make Housing Authority members feel better. The deputy director of housing (construction) Raymond Bates maintained the existing railings were high enough but said the move was to prevent further incidents. He said a safety standard of 1.1 metres had been accepted by the authority in 1991. About a tenth of Hong Kong's rental blocks are of the affected design. An authority spokeswoman said work would start as soon as possible. Virginia Ip Chiu-ping, spokeswoman for the Hong Kong People's Council on Public Housing Policy, said: ''It must be the most stupid measure in the world.'' ''I hope the members are not so childish as to believe that they can save people's lives by raising the height of railings by 30 centimetres.'' Miss Ip suggested the authority install iron gates and position more security guards to prevent outsiders from going into the blocks so easily. She was supported by a senior lecturer at City Polytechnic's Department of Applied Social Studies, John Tse Wing-ling, who said: ''If a person wants to kill himself, he can always find a way. ''Remedial measures are always less effective than preventive ones. I believe what we should do is to encourage people to seek counsellors' help when they face difficulties,'' added Mr Tse. A Tsui Wan Estate resident Lam Chung Lai-ping, 32 and a mother of two, said: ''If the department really wants to enhance safety, why doesn't it simply give more money to install railings high up to the ceiling?''