The vice-chairman of Mui Wo Rural Committee, Tony Tsang Wan-chuen, apologised yesterday to students of a drug rehabilitation college for the abuse heaped on them by some residents during a meeting on Sunday to discuss the college's plan to expand into a vacant school in the town. 'I think what they said did not respect some people. So, I, as a vice-chairman of Mui Wo Rural Committee would like to express my deepest apology to them,' Mr Tsang said. The apology came in a Commercial Radio programme, On A Clear Day, during which callers and radio hosts criticised some Mui Wo residents for the way they had referred to students of Christian Zheng Sheng College in Ha Keng, Lantau. Also on the radio show was the school's principal, Alman Chan Siu-cheuk, who said he believed better communication could ease the fears of residents. 'I still have confidence in Mui Wo residents,' he said. Later yesterday, Mui Wo residents continued their fight for the use of the vacant New Territories Heung Yee Kuk Southern District Secondary School. About 200 of them in red shirts and ribbons took to the streets of Central before Island District Council discussed the matter. Mok Suk-fun, mother of a 12-year-old girl, asked: 'Why can't we have a normal primary school? Do all our kids have to take drugs in order to be admitted to the Mui Wo school?' At the meeting, district councillors and a member of Mui Wo Rural Committee Rainbow, Wong Fuk-kan, made an emotional appeal to the government to turn the campus into a school for Mui Wo children. Mr Wong said: 'Some Mui Wo youngsters cried at night after the Sunday consultation session. Why must the college take the vacant site? I don't understand. The Southern District Secondary School bred many Mui Wo talents. We have strong feelings for the school.' While about 20 students of the drug rehabilitation college attentively listening to discussions, some Mui Wo residents were in tears. Other district councillors, while expressing support for the college's work, questioned why the government could not offer other alternatives for the school. The vice-chairman of the kuk, Daniel Lam Wai-keung, said there were other options. 'The Heung Yee Kuk has contacted a mainland university for some co-operation projects on the school site. The Kuk has also been in touch with an international school about using it to run a school with accommodation for children,' Mr Lam said. He did not reveal details. The college has sought permission from the Education Bureau since December 2006 to use the vacant school, but government consultation work began only this month. The Sunday session was the first hosted by the Home Affairs Department on the college's application. Mr Chan, the principal, said the site was the best choice. 'There is an assembly hall, laboratories and classrooms. No major construction work has to be done before we move in. The students are only under probation order. Many people who are under probation order also live in communities.' The school, with a capacity of 64, now has 123 students. David Wong Fuk-loi, principal assistant secretary for security, said: 'We will continue to collect views from residents and provide more information for more constructive dialogue.'