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City of Misery

Anonymous Coward
User ID: 26653027
10/30/2012 06:38 PM
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City of Misery
In recent years, the town acquired a rather dubious reputation in Hong Kong for being an area where numerous serious family and social issues, including domestic violence, mental illness, and suicide occurs. The collective suicide of 3 girls through coal burning took place, attracting extensive reports from the local media. The image of Tin Shui Wai is thus severely tainted in the minds of many Hong Kong citizens; family tension and domestic violence issues are not limited to Tin Shui Wai.[citation needed] According to some Social workers, Tin Shui Wai is prone to family tragedies because of its remote location, limited employment opportunities, and high density of public housing estates.[6] Some would also argue that the large number of new immigrants from Mainland China in the area, struggling to adjust to the different cultural and social dynamics of Hong Kong, also contributes to the problem.

A number of incidents and personal tragedies have occurred in the town. In 2003, a mainland woman, who had sought help from both social services and the police, and her twin daughters were stabbed to death by her husband who then fatally wounded himself.[7] In April 2004, a man killed himself after stabbing his 31-year-old mainland wife and two teenage daughters to death in their flat in Tin Shui Wai.[8] The accumulation of events caused the Director of Social Welfare, Mrs Carrie Lam, to label Tin Shui Wai "City of Misery" (悲情城市) in July 2006. Lam's comment was criticised because it did nothing to solve the social problem within the town[9]

In October 2007, Mak Fu-tai, a 36-year-old woman suffering from mental illness bound the hands and feet of her 12-year-old daughter and nine-year-old son, and threw them out of a window in their 24th floor flat at Yiu Fung House, and then jumped to her death. Mak's husband, also with a history of mental illness, was hospitalised with terminal cancer. The deaths spurred a review of the inadequate social services provision.[10] This spurred some 20 non-governmental organizations to plead with the Legislative Council's welfare panel for more resources to deal with the problems there.[6]