Naming of building in recognition of Hong Kong entrepreneur’s generous gift to the school to take place in the presence of Dr Li and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew
Singapore and Hong Kong, 4 September 2007 – The Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy ( LKYSPP) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) held a dedication ceremony today to commemorate Dr Li Ka-shing’s gift of S$100 million, which was announced on 8 March 2007. In honour of Dr Li’s support and generosity, the School named one of its three buildings at the historic Bukit Timah Campus, the “Li Ka Shing” Building, after him. The building sits on a rise overlooking the Botanic Gardens valley and houses the school’s executive education programmes as well as its faculty and researchers.
The gift of S$100 million from the Li Ka Shing Foundation (50%) and Dr Li’s group of companies, Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd (25%) and Hutchison Whampoa Ltd (25%), creates an endowment fund to support academic activities by offering scholarships and establishing chair professorships. These scholarships will continue in perpetuity, and over time, will create a distinguished alumni group of policymakers in the region. It will be complemented by a dollar-for-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, 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.
The scholars are Viresh Kumar Bhawra from India and Magdalena Legaspi Mendoza from the Philippines, who are enrolled in the Master in Public Administration programme; as well as Meita Ahadiyati Kartikaningsih from Indonesia, Do Nhu Quynh from Vietnam, and Jin Lihui from China, who are enrolled in the Master in Public Policy programme. Mr Bhawra and Ms Mendoza have been awarded Li Ka Shing Foundation Scholarship, Ms Do and Ms Kartikaningsih the Cheung Kong Scholarship, and Ms Jin the Hutchison Whampoa Scholarship.
Dr Li revealed that his gift to the School is a tribute to all those who choose to serve the public: “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.” He also drew inspiration from Pericles, quoting the great Athenian statesman as saying, “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 added.
Professor Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of LKYSPP, said: “Many Asian economies are ready to take off. As they prepare to do so, their main challenge is to develop institutions of governance and regulation to keep pace with this rapid growth. Dr Li Ka-shing’s gift to our School will help Asia meet this challenge by providing scholarships in perpetuity for budding leaders and policymakers in the region. Dr Li’s gift is therefore more than a gift to one school. It is a gift to the entire region.”
Professor Shih Choon Fong, President of NUS, also expressed his appreciation of the impact of Dr Li’s gift: “Benefactors like Dr Li not only endow us with gifts, with which we build programmes. They also invest us with their spirit, by which we shape our aspirations. Dr Li’s spirit, as a global entrepreneur, is one of leadership and service. He inspires by his capacity to transform. And therefore as my colleagues and I strive to transform NUS into a global university with an entrepreneurial dimension, we take to heart the essence of his gift – hope for the future, and faith in the graduates we nurture for service and leadership.”
During an interview with the scholars, Ms Jin expressed her appreciation of Dr Li’s generosity: “ Dr Li’s gift has taught me one thing- it is well and good if you have the ability to earn the wealth from the society, but it is far more important to have the willingness to contribute and return to the society. And I hope that one day I can also spread joy, hope and goodwill like Dr Li, to those who are in need.”
Another scholar, Ms Mendoza, had this to say: “I believe that what I will learn at LKYSPP would help make people live a better and more secure life, not because the government provides everything but because people are encouraged, and given opportunity and personal responsibility to participate in their development… Through Dr Li’s philanthropy, he has touched my life and those who stand to benefit from better ideas and decisions I would make in the future. As a self-made man, he has given inspiration to people who would like to accomplish something great in their lives.”
Ms Kartikaningsih added: What I will learn at LKYSPP will give me the fundamental knowledge to better cope with the challenges of contributing to social betterment and improving the lives of the man on the street.”
Mr Bhawra, looking forward to his studies, commented: “The Master programme will help me to gain a global perspective and an understanding of the Singapore model. Through Dr Li’s sponsorship, I will eventually be able to make more meaningful contributions to society.”
Ms Do expressed her gratitude: “By giving us the chance to study at LKYSPP, Dr Li has demonstrated his support of us in our development as competent public policy makers and leaders working towards raising the quality of governance in the region and globally.”
Dr Li and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew graced the ceremony. In addition to the dedication ceremony, a scholarship award presentation to the five Li Ka Shing scholars was held.
Some brief information about the school and the biographies of the Li Ka Shing scholars are appended to this press release.
For media enquiries, please contact: Li Ka Shing Foundation
Mr. Jeremy Lau
Tel: (852) 2128.1207
Fax: (852) 2128.1766
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP)
Ms. Chin Yeok Tsui
Corporate Development Executive
Tel: (65) 6516.6197
Fax: (65) 6778.1020
National University of Singapore (NUS)
Mr. Chew Kheng Chuan
Endowment & Institutional Development
Tel: (65) 6516.1085
Fax: (65) 6464.1474
Click here to view the fact sheet
Click here to view the biographies of the Li Ka Shing scholars
Click here to view the speech by Dr Li Ka-shing at the Dedication Ceremony
Click here to view the Closing Remarks by Prof Shih Choon Fong at the Dedication Ceremony
Click here to view the article, Li Ka-shing's gift: Tribute to those who serve the people
Click here for a webcast of the proceeding