Dynamic and inspirational figures in the fields of business, education, music and community development were honored for their achievements at the Leader of the Year awards ceremony organized by Sing Tao News Corporation.
Shue Yan University's husband-and-wife president and vice president principal were awarded among the four Leaders of the Year for their outstanding contribution to Hong Kong.
“I believe my mission was right, so I will never give up,” said president of Hong Kong Shue Yan University Dr Henry Hu Hung-lick as he received was awarded the accolade for Leader of the Year in the education/research category.
Dr Hu said the most important path to achieving success is to have a goal and believe in it. “My goal can't change, but government policy can change,” he said.
For 35 years, Hu and his wife, vice president of the school Dr Chung Chi-yung, believed in their goal of making Shue Yan College Hong Kong's first private university despite obstacles in government policies.
The 15 years' work of Sowers Action, a nongovernment organization, in building up the basic education facilities and resources in rural China was also recognized, as it was won top honors in the Community/Public Affairs category.
“The award belongs not only to us but also to the volunteers and participants in our programs,” said Johnny Leung Kin-wah, the group's representative.
Musician Peter Kam Pui-tat was named Leader of the Year in the Sports/Culture/Performing Arts category. Having recently won recognition as the first Chinese composer to win the Silver Bear Award for Best Film Music at the 56th Berlin International Film Festival, Kam said: “The [Leader of the Year] award will not only encourage but also stimulate the growth of the industry.”
VTech Holdings chairman and group chief executive officer Allan Wong Chi-yun received the award for the Commerce and Industry/Finance Category.
Wong is a successful entrepreneur, who was lauded for his foresight and visionary thinking. With a keen interest in and passion for electronics and technology, Wong co-founded VTech with his partner in 1976, a year before it developed the first generation of home TV games in 1977.
The annual award, now in its 13th year, is organized by Sing Tao Daily, The Standard and Headline Daily.
Charles Ho Tsu-kwok, chairman of Sing Tao News Corporation, thanked guest of honor SAR Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen for his support and said the Leader of the Year award continues to choose the leaders of Hong Kong, such as Tsang.
Chairman of the Leader of the Year 2005 panel of judges, Norman Chan Tak-lam, speaking of the importance of the event, said Hong Kong's success depends on the elites in our society.
“The leaders in Hong Kong realize the spirit of never giving up, and have brought Hong Kong through both the good and bad times. With such leaders, Hong Kong will continue to flourish,” Chan said.
Tsang reminded of ‘weaknesses’
Sing Tao News Corp (1105) chairman Charles Ho Tsu-kwok took Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen by surprise by commenting on “weaknesses” in the leadership policy while officiating at the 2006 Leader of the Year awards ceremony.
After forgetting to bring his glasses to the podium, Ho proceeded to ad-lib his opening remarks, causing audience members to glance towards Tsang to catch his reaction to the unexpected comment on his policy agenda.
Speaking to hundreds of guests - including top tycoons, government officials and celebrities, Ho congratulated Tsang for winning the recent chief executive election.
But he also said there were “weaknesses” in Tsang's policies.
Ho said competition laws, which are supposed to enhance the competitive structure of all business sectors, should also be applied to the legal sector so fees charged would not be as high.
“I have had the experience of paying HK$600,000 to HK$700,000 a day for sessions with my lawyers, and the fees would have been even higher if I did not bargain with them,'' Ho said.
In order to offer Hong Kong people more options when choosing a lawyer, Ho - a member of the Standing Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference - suggested the Hong Kong government should welcome more lawyers from the United Kingdom and Australia to work in the territory.
Following his speech, which won applause from guests, Ho returned to his table.
He was seated between Tsang and Chief Secretary for Administration Rafael Hui Si-yan.
Tsang left the event early and was escorted out of the ballroom by Ho.
VTech Holdings Allan Wong is presented with the award for the Commerce and Industry/ Finance Category from Bank of East Asia chairman and chief executive Dr David Li. |
Hong Kong Jockey Club chairman Dr John Chan, center, presents the Community/ Public Affairs category award to Johnny Leung, left, and chairman Eddie Au, of Sowers Action.
Musician Peter Kam, winner in the Sports/ Culture/ Performing Arts category, receive his award from Chief Secretary Rafael Hui |
Husband and wife Henry Hu and Chung Chi-yung won the Education/Research category