Renowned industrialist Chiang Chen, often described as one of Hong Kong's model patriots, has expressed sympathy for beleaguered singer-actor Edison Chen Koon-hei, saying he will come out of his current troubles a better man. 'Chen Koon-hei is a young man. Young people will make mistakes,' he said. 'Making mistakes is an education, and this will help him.' Mr Chiang, 85, received an honorary degree from the University of Hong Kong yesterday. His life story has often been hailed as a model example of how hard work and ethical living can overcome all sorts of obstacles. Having arrived in the city with nothing in 1949 at the age of 26, the Shandong native has built the world's largest manufacturer of injection moulding machines, Chen Hsong Holdings, and founded the Chiang Chen Industrial Charity Foundation. Without English, Cantonese or Shanghainese skills, and with only four years of education, Mr Chiang began as a labourer on a dock, then worked in a cotton mill and mine. However, he insists that comparisons cannot be made between present society and his experience, since times have changed. 'I have never tried to teach people how to live their lives.' Nevertheless, he had words of wisdom to pass on to the younger generation, urging them not to fear competition, pressure or criticism, and to learn from their mistakes. 'Criticism is normal ... Only after criticism, do you set out to improve.' Chen last month admitted he had taken pictures of female celebrities engaged in sex acts, which were stolen from his computer and circulated on the internet. He said: 'I hope this matter will teach everyone a lesson. To all the young people and our community, let this be a lesson for you all.' Chen added that he would dedicate his time to charity and community work, and use the 'opportunity to heal myself and to search my soul'. One of Mr Chiang's six children, Lily Chiang Lai-lei, is having her own troubles - she has been charged by the Independent Commission Against Corruption over an alleged HK$7.5 million share-option fraud. Mr Chiang said he believed she would also learn from adversity. 'She'll come out the better after this ordeal,' he said. Other recipients of honorary degrees included Monetary Authority chief Joseph Yam Chi-kwong, scientist Mak Tak-wah and former president of Lingnan University Edward Chen Kwan-yiu.