CHARITY

Environment chief Wong Kam-sing's Ice Bucket Challenge has green focus

Environment chief makes serious point as he takes Ice Bucket Challenge

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 August, 2014, 4:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 22 August, 2014, 9:26am

Another minister has risen to the Ice Bucket Challenge - this time also raising awareness about green issues.

A day after commerce chief Greg So Kam-leung took a freezing shower, environmental minister Wong Kam-sing poured a bucket of cold water over his head in Tamar Park. He was accompanied by his political assistant, Michelle Au Wing-tsz.

Clad in green, Wong opted to use water from a restaurant that had been used to clean rice, rain water and reusable ice packs, promoting waste reduction.

"Using sustainable resources, we can incorporate environmentally friendly concepts into this activity as well," Wong said.

The challenge, a recent social media import from the US, is intended to raise awareness and donations for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a debilitating motor neurone disease.

Wong pledged to donate US$100 to the ALS Association in the United States and HK$6,000 to the Hong Kong Neuro-Muscular Disease Association.

He acted in response to a challenge posed by lawmaker Kenneth Leung, who also drenched himself the day before in the company of lawmaker Charles Mok. Wong had 24 hours to act on the challenge.

He did not nominate anyone else, and after offering a terse verdict - "it's refreshing" - he left.

Former financial secretary Antony Leung Kam-chung also doused himself, in response to a challenge by constitutional affairs minister Raymond Tam Chi-yuen.

Tam had not taken up the challenge, instead pledging donations and nominating Antony Leung and two others to undertake it.

Canto-pop king Andy Lau Tak-wah, actress Joey Yung Cho-yee and Commercial Radio chief adviser Stephen Chan Chi-wan have all been soaked for charity.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying was challenged by a lawmaker but declined. He pledged to make a donation instead.

ALS, commonly referred to in the United States as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells and pathways in the brain and spinal cord.

When these cells die, voluntary muscle control and movement dies with them. Patients in the later stages of the disease are totally paralysed, yet in most cases, their minds remain sharp and alert.