Civic education panel head defends his private residence on government land A cousin of Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen has refused to step down as head of the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education amid a row over his use of a piece of government land. Architect and rural leader Daniel Heung Cheuk-kei - who launched the once-controversial nightly TV segments accompanying the national anthem - has admitted he turned the land, designated for a warehouse, into a private residence, but insists he did nothing wrong and has since moved out. The Silver Bauhinia Star holder also defended his decision to hire a Filipino helper to work in the warehouse in Kwun Yam Shan, saying he needed a helper to look after his dogs. But the chairman and a vice-chairman of two political parties have called on the Immigration Department to look into the case and said Mr Heung should not continue in his public duties. Mr Heung said he moved into the warehouse at 9A Kwun Ping Road near Kwun Yam Shan - an isolated community on a hillside overlooking Sha Tin - in 1983. He paid rent of $30,000 a quarter. It has since risen to $50,000. 'I started applying to the Lands Department to have the warehouse turned into a residence in the early 1980s. I told the Lands Department I was prepared to pay more rent and premium if they allowed me to convert the land, but they rejected my application.' After the rejection in late 1998, he moved out in 1999. 'I only spend one to two days there occasionally,' he said. 'It is not my home any more. I still want to reside there if they allow it.' He refused to disclose where he does live, but said it was not in Sha Tin. A visit to the site yesterday revealed a warehouse facade has been retained for the building nestled between the Lion Rock and Ma On Shan country parks, but that the property has been converted into a two-storey house with covered parking spaces and a patio of approximately 40ft by 65ft. Large windows open out onto an immaculately manicured 4,000 sq ft, tree-fringed lawn with a fishpond and barbecue area. A dozen patio chairs were seen in the covered car park. Inside, sofas and other furniture have been pushed aside and covered with plastic sheets. Six dogs were on the premises and a man believed to be the warehouse keeper was spotted there. He did not come out despite the incessant barking of the dogs. Mr Heung's term as chairman of the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education will expire in March. He is a member of Heung Yee Kuk's executive council, the Basic Law Steering Committee and the Antiquities Advisory Board. He was a Town Planning Board member between 1990 and 2002. The Lands Department said Mr Heung was not violating any rules but it would continue to monitor the situation. The Immigration Department said a foreign domestic helper should only work in the employer's residence and perform domestic duties. The Chief Executive's Office said Mr Tsang has no involvement in the case, which is being handled by the Lands Department. Democratic Party chairman Lee Wing-tat and Lau Kong-wah, a Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong vice-chairman, called on the Immigration Department to look into the case. They said it would be inappropriate for Mr Heung to continue performing his public duties.