10-year link between PR expert and professor

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 November, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 November, 2002, 12:00am

Links between University of Hong Kong medical faculty dean Professor Lam Shiu-kum and retired pro-tobacco advocate Brenda Chow appear to go back as far as a decade.

Ms Chow's ex-employer, British American Tobacco, has donated more than $1 million to a group Professor Lam helped establish in 1992, the Liver Foundation.

She is still listed on the foundation's Web site as being on its 13-member council - and Professor Lam is its vice-chairman.

Professor Lam has failed to respond to questions about whether he was paid for his role with the tobacco-sponsored foundation.

The Liver Foundation and Ms Chow also failed to return calls on the issue. British American Tobacco claimed its records did not go back before 1995 but confirmed the company donated more than $1 million to the foundation between 1995 and 1999.

TVB's The Pearl Report said that a lavish Liver Foundation inauguration at Government House had marked the start of Ms Chow's association with the foundation.

But when TVB journalist Jonathan Hill asked Ms Chow in his 1998 report if she knew what a liver actually did, he was met with an embarrassed silence. When he repeated the question, Mrs Chow replied: 'I am not a scientist.

'I am not a medical practitioner, but, as a layperson, it helps the overall, good well-being of the person.'

Graphic: SMOK21GET