EDITORIAL COMMENT: Desecration of splendid 350 year old Wong Chuk Yeung

editorialThis newspaper protests against the desecration of 350-year-old Wong Chuk Yeung that is now going on. The historic village may be the finest in the Sai Kung area. It certainly has the most splendid location, high on a forested plateau under the shadow of Ma On Shan.

Workers are up there every day now erecting fences, obliterating natural beauty with mechanical diggers, knocking down parts of the historic buildings. They erect signs saying the area is now “Wong Chuk Yeung Organic Farm”.

People who love the area — and there are many — are despairing. The loveliness of Wong Chuk Yeung beckons hikers, dog walkers, ramblers, bird watchers, botanists — all nature lovers. It is being wrecked as we write! 

The last resident, Uncle Lau, has died.  Even the last dog seems to be gone. Only the bats crammed in one house remain.

What hope is there for preservation of Wong Chuk Yeung? Historical buildings that existed before 1800 can be declared monuments automatically. We are told Wong Chuk Yeung was first settled in the 1660s.

The Antiquities and Monuments Office is toothless. It comes under the Leisure and Cultural Services department and has no power. The Homes Affairs Bureau can act, but won’t.

The only hope is a campaign by Sai Kung people.  Demonstrate enough, generate publicity, bring in activists, stir up the local powers. The Government will respond only to a sustained campaign of pressure from Sai Kung people. 

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Mechanical diggers are at work in the area marked V for village creating an “organic farm”

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