Run Run Shaw's body transferred to crematorium as top leaders pay respects
Shirley Zhao and Samuel Chan
More high-profile figures came to pay their respects at Sir Run Run Shaw’s funeral on Friday, among them the city’s former chief executives Tung Chee-wah and Donald Tsang Yam-kuen.
The leaders separately came to pay their respects at the Hong Kong Funeral Home in North Point, where Shaw’s body had been transferred from the United Christian Hospital.
Later, Shaw's remains were brought to the Cape Collinson Crematorium in Chai Wan at 11am on Friday. The government accepted a special request from the Shaw family to avoid the usual two-week wait for a funeral.
Tung, accompanied by his wife, left the funeral home at around 9.30am, and Tsang and his wife arrived shortly after. Neither couple made any comment.
Two of Shaw’s sons were present, as were officials from the media mogul’s flagship broadcaster TVB – executive director Mark Lee Po-on and deputy director for external affairs Tsang Sing-ming.
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying did not attend, although he earlier offered his condolences to the family.
A day before, several state leaders paid tribute to media mogul and philanthropist as his relatives said a private goodbye at a memorial service at the funeral home.
Zhang Xiaoming, director of Beijing's liaison office in Hong Kong, arrived before the service to relay the condolences of state leaders to Shaw's widow, Mona, and Norman Leung Nai-pang, executive chairman of TVB.
Among those who sent messages were President Xi Jinping, former premier Wen Jiabao and National People's Congress chairman Zhang Dejiang.
In his letter, Xi praised Shaw's love of the country and concern for the people, adding that Shaw would never be forgotten. Zhang also praised the mogul's contribution to Hong Kong's prosperity and stability, while Wen's letter highlighted his contribution to China's education and technology development.
Chief Executive Leung happened to be at the same funeral home for his late friend and fellow surveyor Arthur Shia Tsai-fung on Thursday, but did not attend Shaw's service. Leung offered his condolences to the Shaw family via Norman Leung.
Norman Leung said the whole family attended the private service at which Buddhist monks performed rites. He said an event was planned for Friday at which the public could pay tribute to the tycoon.
Shaw died on Tuesday at the age of 107. The family did not give the cause of the death.
The media mogul came to Hong Kong from Singapore in 1957 and bought land for a studio in Clear Water Bay. He is credited with almost single-handedly resurrecting the ailing film industry. Over the next 25 years, the Shaw Brothers made an estimated 900 films. He co-founded TVB in 1967 and was executive chairman for 30 years, during which time it became the city's leading station.
A generous philanthropist, Shaw poured billions into the Sir Run Run Shaw Charitable Trust and The Shaw Foundation. It was reported that he had donated HK$6.5 billion locally and on the mainland, mainly in education.
Additional reporting by Ng Kang-chung
Video: A glimpse at Run Run Shaw's life
Correction: Dates of the funeral and cremation service in the article were corrected.