Singapore and Hong Kong, 4 September 2007 – Hong Kong Entrepreneur Dr Li Ka-shing has revealed today, while unveiling the Li Ka-shing Building at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP) together with Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, that his S$100 million gift to School is a tribute to all those who choose to serve the people.
Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, Professor Shih Choon Fong, President of the National University of Singapore (NUS), said Dr Li’s magnificent gift to LKYSPP enhanced its capacity to nurture future generations of policy makers and leaders and the building was named after Dr Li as recognition of his generous gift to the School.
Professor Shih said, “We take to heart the essence of his gift – hope for the future, and faith in the graduates we nurture for leadership and service.”
The Li Ka-shing Building is one of the three buildings at the School’s historic Bukit Timah Campus overlooking the Botanic Gardens valley and houses the School’s executive education programmes as well as its faculty and researchers.
Also speaking at the ceremony, Professor Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of LKYSPP, said many Asian economies were ready to take off and as they prepared to do so, their main challenge was to develop institutions of governance and regulation to keep pace with their rapid growth.
“Dr Li’s gift to our School will help Asia meet this challenge by providing scholarships in perpetuity for building leaders and policy makers throughout Asia. Dr Li’s gift is therefore more than a gift to one school. It is a gift to the entire region.”
Dr Li’s donation will create an endowment fund to support academic activities by offering more than 40 post-graduate scholarships annually and establishing chair professorships. These scholarships will continue its perpetuity and, over time, create a distinguished alumni group of policy makers throughout Asia.
Addressing Minister Mentor Lee, scholars and guests attending the ceremony, Dr Li said, “To choose to serve your people as their best friend and devoted servant is a most noble and conscious choice. It requires the very best of what you have to give.”
Dr Li also drew inspiration from Pericles and quoted the great Athenian statesman as saying that, “Great leaders have their vision of what to do and know how to articulate it. And they are incorruptible.
“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others,” Dr Li quoted.
The gift of S$100 million from the Li Ka-shing Foundation (50%) and Dr Li’s group of companies, Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited (25%) and Hutchison Whampoa Limited (25%), will be complemented by a dollar-to-dollar matching grant from the Singapore Government.
The Li Ka-shing Scholarships offered by the School will benefit students from Mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries and regions, as well as local students in Singapore.
This academic year, five LKYSPP students have been awarded the Li Ka-shing Scholarships. The recipients of the five full scholarships are professionals from both governmental and non-governmental organisations.
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