A former city chief has been accused of embezzling at least 3.5 million yuan (HK$4.4million) of government funds to construct himself a large tomb based on feng shui principles.
The corrupt official, who goes by the name Chen Hongping, is standing trial in Guangdong for his improper use of government funds.
According to South China Morning Post, feng shui has been banned by the Communist Party for its improper use and superstitious reputation.
Feng shui has been described as a “mystical geomancy theory”. Practitioners generally believe that good feng shui can help cast off evil spirits and boost their health and good fortune.
Chen is said to have asked Guangdong city’s land and highway department to wire 3.5 million yuan to a company set up on Chen’s behalf to finance his private tomb.
The official attempted to mask the project by claiming that he was using the funds to develop rural areas and hillside farming for the city.
This, however, is not the only offence that Chen stands trial for. On April 21, he was also charged with two counts of accepting bribes, worth 125 million yuan (HK$17 million), while in office between 2004 and 2011.
According to the report, Chen has a long history of practicing feng shui principles, so much so, that he became obsessed with the idea that it would bring him vast wealth and quick promotions.
Chen allegedly spent his days off visiting the countryside in search for the “most auspicious sites” according to feng shui principles.
Unfortunately, the article reports that Chen’s actions may have encouraged similar behaviour by other party officials.
Chen is only the latest in a long line of officials caught up in President Xi Jinping’s anti-graft campaign and accused of misusing their power in practising feng shui.
By Freya Twigden