Date
26 March 2017
Lawmaker Eddie Chu with a long-standing tenant (inset) of 'Red House' that conservationists fear could be torn down. The historic building has already seen a portion of its walls get demolished (R). Photos: baidu.com, Facebook/Eddie Chu
Lawmaker Eddie Chu with a long-standing tenant (inset) of 'Red House' that conservationists fear could be torn down. The historic building has already seen a portion of its walls get demolished (R). Photos: baidu.com, Facebook/Eddie Chu

Tuen Mun building linked with Sun Yat-sen faces demolition risk

A century-old historic building famous for its links with Dr. Sun Yat-sen, who is considered to be the founding father of modern China, is facing the risk of demolition, according to a lawmaker

First-time legislator and conservation activist Eddie Chu says he fears that Hung Lau, which literally means Red House, could be torn down in Tuen Mun following a change in ownership. 

In a social media post Thursday, Chu wrote that more than 20 tenants currently living in the two-storey house had approached him for help last week after they were told to move out.

The new owner is planning to tear it down for redevelopment, according to Chu.

Hung lau, which is believed to have been built in the late 19th century, is famous for being the place where Sun Yat-sen and his comrades allegedly drew up plans to overthrow the Qing dynasty and establish the Chinese Republic.

Sun was the first president and founding father of the Republic of China.

As the Red House is among the Grade I historic buildings recognized by the government, it will be a great loss to the city if it is demolished, activists say.

According to Apple Daily, the tenants claimed that some workers began to cut down trees around the house and demolish part of its walls a few days ago, and that the tenants received a letter from a lawyer who demanded them to move by this Sunday, when electricity will be cut off.

The house was originally owned by the late philanthropist Li Po-chun, whose family sold it for HK$5 million to a company owned by mainland businessman Xiao Junfeng in November last year, data from the Land Registry show.

An inspection by Apple Daily reporters revealed that the interior of the house is in a dilapidated condition.

Chu urged the government to assist the affected tenants, including helping them find temporary shelters, even as he called on the new owner to preserve the ancient building.

Mak Ip-sing, a member of Yuen long District Council, said Hung Lau represents part of Chinese history and that it deserves to be protected.

He added that he had reported to the police about vandalism at the building that is located in Tuen Mun’s Zhongshan Park.

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TL/AC/RC

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