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Hong Kong courts

Elderly Hong Kong villager facing eviction goes to court seeking review of compensation deal

Chan Ki-kau says government not doing enough to guarantee residents’ rights in northeastern New Territories development plan

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 October, 2018, 10:04pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 October, 2018, 2:42am

An elderly villager affected by a controversial government plan to develop the northeastern New Territories took his grievance to court on Tuesday, demanding better compensation.

Chan Ki-kau, 77, targeted the Development Bureau, which is in charge of the project covering Kwu Tung North, Ta Kwu Ling and Fanling North, in his judicial review.

The villager is challenging a set of arrangements that Secretary for Development Michael Wong Wai-lun announced on May 10 as part of the government’s plan to compensate and rehouse residents and business owners affected by an expected clearance in the area.

In a brief legal document filed on Tuesday, Chan asked the court to order the bureau to review the compensation scheme.

Speaking outside court before making his application, Chan criticised the government for not doing enough to guarantee residents’ rights and treating them fairly.

Chan, who has lived in Ma Shi Po village in Fanling for almost three decades, said it was difficult for him and some 100 residents in the area to leave their homes.

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“However, for the development of Hong Kong we are willing to make sacrifices,” said Chan, who also farmed in the area.

“Why can’t the government consider compensating and rehousing us in a better way?”

Although he did not provide details in the court document, he explained why he and others thought they had been hard done by.

Why can’t the government consider compensating and rehousing us in a better way?
Chan Ki-kau

He accused Wong of breaching the Basic Law, the city’s mini-constitution, in that the development chief had deprived them of their rights to be consulted and owning their properties. He said he had invited Wong to visit their village numerous times but to no avail.

Chan also said the scheme failed to properly compensate those who owned squatter land in the area because only those who occupied such a site – not the owner – would get anything.

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He also said while the maximum compensation for occupiers was HK$1.2 million (US$153, 846), many would not receive that much.