Bad feng-shui deters Tung

Feng-shui, the traditional Chinese belief in reconciling man with his environment, appears to have won the day. Yesterday, Tung Chee-hwa, Hong Kong's first Chief Executive, announced that he would not be taking up residence in Government House, a place he has described as having "bad feng-shui".

In so doing he is breaking with the colonial past which has seen Government House serve as both the Governor's residence and office. The present incumbent, Chris Patten, says he likes it a lot because it has enabled him to see more of his family than at any other time in his political career.

Mr Tung, a former shipping tycoon, has no need of government housing and will remain in his luxurious apartment and get the government to lease the adjoining flat to provide even more space. He also owns a compound near the sea where he can retire at weekends if he does not wish to avail himself of the Governor's second residence at Fanling, near the Chinese border.

Government House, now overshadowed by the Bank of China building, which is supposed to give off bad feng shui with its sharp angels pointing like daggers, will become a guesthouse for VIPs and a location for official functions, and possibly a museum.

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