HK tycoon and family give a big hand
Vivienne Chow and Staff Reporter
Tycoon Robert Kuok, his family and the Kerry Group have donated 123 million yuan (HK$139 million) and HK$10 million to people affected by the earthquake in Sichuan since the tremor struck two weeks ago, Xinhua reported last night.
Meanwhile, the auctioning of a Qing dynasty enamelled-glass brush pot owned by Taiwanese businessman Robert Tsao raised more than HK$30 million for victims of the earthquake.
The brush pot, made for the emperor Qianlong, fetched HK$65 million at Christie's spring sale at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Christie's waived its commission and premium charges for the sale, to a Taiwanese private collector, and Mr Tsao, who bought the brush pot for HK$67.5 million last autumn, said half of the proceeds (HK$32.5 million) would go to victims of the quake.
Speaking on behalf of the people of Sichuan, the director of the central government's liaison office in Hong Kong, Gao Siren , yesterday praised Mr Kuok and his family for their contributions to the disaster-relief efforts.
He said such charitable acts demonstrated the tycoon's patriotism and his compassion for the quake victims as his fellow countrymen.
Mr Kuok has also donated 4,000 tents to the refugees. Tents are urgently needed for millions of homeless people and the central government has openly asked the international community to help.
Mr Kuok has pledged to provide help to 500 middle school students and university undergraduates in central Sichuan, where the earthquake struck. Each will receive 8,000 yuan per year in study subsidies for seven years, Xinhua reported.
To relay the gratitude of Sichuan people, Mr Gao yesterday met Kerry Group representative Kuok Khoon Ean, who is also chairman of SCMP Group, which publishes the South China Morning Post, and Ang Keng Lam, executive director of Kerry Properties.
Also yesterday, an Olympic torch donated by Hong Kong squash player Christina Mak Pui-hin fetched HK$1.8 million at a charity auction organised by Commercial Radio.
The track suit and sports shoes the Asian Games medallist wore on May 2 for the torch relay in the city fetched HK$13,000 and HK$7,000 respectively and a headband HK$6,000.
Proceeds will go to the Caring for Children Foundation to help make artificial limbs for children injured during the earthquake.
Mak said she was pleased with the results.