LIBERAL legislator Christine Loh Kung-wai hinted yesterday she might defer her controversial amendment to assert equal inheritance rights for women in the rural New Territories. She said that was because of villagers' fears they could be stripped of traditional rights. Ms Loh, chairman of the Legislative Council's Women's Affairs Committee, said a more thorough discussion might be required before tabling her amendment. When asked if that meant she would shelve her amendment in face of the vehement opposition, she said: ''I can't offer anything concrete right now. But certainly it's one of the options I will consider.'' Ms Loh's amendment is scheduled to be tabled in the Legislative Council on April 27. She said she had not insisted that her amendment be moved next month and the Government could still propose changes to assert equal inheritance rights for men and women in the urban areas of the New Territories. ''I think it's very good that we continue to talk about this and I think the situation is quite fluid,'' Ms Loh said. She added that she still stood by the principle of equality between men and women. ''I am not shelving the idea behind the amendment - that is equality between men and women,'' she said. She said Saturday's visit to two indigenous villages had enabled her to better understand the villagers' fears of the disintegration of their traditional kinship. ''Their traditions are so tied to their land that they see the issue of equality as secondary,'' she said. ''We are now trying to push the discussion forward to see how you can balance the two,'' she added. But legislator and Heung Yee Kuk member Andrew Wong Wang-fat said present legislation struck the right balance. He said rural residents who wanted their daughters to inherit properties could seek exemption from the court. Mr Wong said Ms Loh's amendment sought to destroy rural traditions. Villagers have warned that Ms Loh's amendment, if passed, would lead to disintegration of the 800 villages in the new territories, as outsiders married to women villagers would be allowed to share their lands. Last Tuesday, violence erupted outside the Legislative Council chamber over the proposed amendment when over a thousand angry villagers punched and kicked legislator Lee Wing-tat and a human rights advocates. Kuk chairman Lau Wong-fat said yesterday that he welcomed Ms Loh's offer to defer the bill to foster further discussions. Liberal Party chairman Allen Lee Peng-fei said his party would also support deferment. He said postponing the amendment for three months would help clear misunderstandings.