The Chinese practice of fung shui has a long history. It dates back thousands of years and has long been a part of Hong Kong' culture. Many professionals here regularly seek advice from the craft's practitioners as they believe fung shui can help their businesses thrive. But not everyone accepts such advice without question. The people in Kap Lung village certainly haven't. Their village's chief, Tsang Kin-heung, recently sought the advice of his fung shui master, who suggested the widening of a local bridge. The reason for this, he said, was to 'repair the harm' to fung shui. The harm was allegedly caused by ongoing tunnelling work nearby for the Hong Kong-Shenzhen-Guangzhou express rail link. The village chief's critics, though, detected a more sinister reason behind the expert advice. They believe he wants the bridge to be widened out of simple self-interest. Tsang owns more than a third of the land lots in the village and a wider bridge would open up access to Kap Lung. Villagers suspect he is planning to carry out extensive property development, forcing many locals out of their homes. 'We're all opposed to [the widening of] the bridge,' villager Elsa Wong told the Post last month. 'So who will it be built for?' This latest controversy comes in the wake of a recent spate of scandals that has tarnished the ancient practice's reputation. Among the most notorious cases, fung shui master Tony Chan Chun-chuen was found by a court in February to have forged the will of billionairess Nina Wang Kung Yu-sum, in a bid to get hold of her assets. Several other self-styled fung shui masters have, meanwhile, been jailed for sex-related crimes. Controversy is now engulfing government officials over payment from public funds for the services of fung shui experts. Democratic Party lawmaker Wong Sing-chi and Civic Party lawmaker Tanya Chan have demanded the government withdraw its approval of the bridge project. They're also calling for more transparency about the use of fung shui experts on government projects and compensations on fung shui-related claims. Out of 16 fung shui claims made in connection with the express rail link, they noted, 15 have been accepted by the government as worthy of compensation. Wong recently told the SCMP that companies bidding for fung shui-related construction projects are usually associated with the people claiming 'harm to fung shui' as a result of public works. The legislator says he has also heard of cases of outright corruption where village chiefs simply pocketed some of the money set aside for construction to repair harm done to fung shui. He and several other politicians believe that payouts of public money on fung shui-related claims are misspent as the benefits of fung shui-related reconstruction cannot be proved. In response, village chief Tsang has dared his critics to declare fung shui has no benefits at all, contrary to traditional beliefs. Defenders of fung shui believe in the wisdom of seeking fung shui masters' advice on building construction works. Fung shui master Louis Wong is one of them. Wong holds several university degrees, including one in mechanical engineering. He says almost half of his clients are professionals: 'They work in the financial field. Some are accountants, some are engineers.' Yet while he does believe in the power of fung shui to increase harmony and prosperity, he stresses that fung shui-related issues should take a back seat to 'scientific' considerations. 'I don't think the government should pay out fung shui compensation,' he says. If the government does pay up, he adds, details about what specific harm fung shui is believed to have suffered should be made available to the public.