A man of letters
TALK about giving someone face. Readers of this newspaper might have noticed a full-page advertisement yesterday congratulating Dr Stanley Ho, the Macau casino mogul, on receiving Portugal's highest civilian honour. It follows a similar advertisement in Saturday's Business Post.
The man for whom a charity donation of $350,000 is peanuts was, over the weekend, bestowed the Order of the Grand Cross of Prince Henry the Navigator by His Excellency Dr Mario Soares, the president of Portugal, at the end of a visit by the statesman to the enclave.
The honour was granted for services to Macau as a sort of lifetime achievement award. The advertisements were paid for by Mr Ho's many companies and endorsed by a host of Hong Kong and Macau celebrities and institutions including Francis Cornish - the British Trade Commissioner in Hong Kong, who was wearing his hat as British Consul-General for Macau - Baroness Dunn, Sir Run Run Shaw, Sir David and Lady Akers-Jones, Dr Henry Fok, Ronald Arculli, Teri and Cecil Chao, Peggy Lam, Dr and Mrs Hari Harilela, the Mandarin Oriental, the Hong Kong Girl Guides Association, the RSPCA, the Community Chest and Macau Jockey Club members (Hong Kong) - not to mention that well-known trading company, the Luen Tak Knitting Garment Factory.
The philanthropist now lists the following letters after his name: Gr. Cross O.M.; OBE; C.St.J.; Chev.Leg.d'Hon.; and SPMP. In fact there were so many lauding him that our attention was more drawn to who was missing - and one apparent omission was our very own governor, Chris Patten.
A Government House spokesman commented that the Government doesn't normally contribute to paid advertisements when British citizens are given honours, so it would be most unusual for it to do so in the case of Macanese citizens.