Foul deed

MARGARET Ng's column on succession to land in the New Territories (South China Morning Post, March 29) contained an error.

She claimed that a woman in the New Territories may succeed to land if it is willed to her. In fact, that is not the case. As the Government has admitted (in the Green Paper), under existing law, such wills cannot be probated unless letters of probate are granted within three months, which is virtually impossible. This (combined with the public's sudden and long over-due awareness of the fact that the legal prohibition on female succession applied to all non-exempted urban land, as well as rural land) is why the Government introduced the New Territories Land Exemption Bill last autumn.

In contrast, Christine Loh's proposal would give land owners in the New Territories the right to will their property to whomever they wish (sons or daughters), thus preserving existing rights and also giving them greater freedom.