Sunday, October 12, 2008

Cai Wen

Professor Cai Wen , born 1942 in Chenghai County, Guangdong Province, graduated from Zhongshan University in 1964. He is the chairman of the board of the Extension Engineering Special Committee, the Chinese Artificial Intelligence Association and the president of the Extension Engineering Research Institute. He has also been nominated among the national distinguished experts due to his prominent research work.

Birth of Extentics

From 1976, Prof. Cai set about studying the law, theory and method for dealing with incompatible problems. The paper "Extension set and incompatible problem", published in 1983, marked the birth of the new science of Extenics . The first monograph, ''Matter-element analysis'', published in 1987, was listed among "the cream of famous Chinese academic books". The extension decision method applied to decision science and the transforming bridge method applied to the economic field were proposed afterwards. In the past few years, three other monographs were published: "Matter-element model and its application", "Extension marketing", "Extension engineering method " and the selected papers of "From matter-element analysis to Extenics", edited in chief by Prof. Cai.

The Matter-element Research Institute at Guangdong College of Technology, which been extended to the Research Institute of Extension Engineering, was established in 1986. The Matter-element Institute of China Association for modern designs science was set up in 1987. The research team engaged in Extenics now has been organized at home and abroad for 17 groups of research scholars, began with the title of associate professor, lecturer or with doctor's degree, has been cultivated from 1993. Now eight national extension engineering conferences and three forums about Extenics have been held from 1985. And four national scientific projects associated Extenics are supported by far.

Influence of Extentics

Originally from the Chinese mainland, research into Extenics has been extended to foreign nations, including the United States, Japan, Taiwan and South America . In the application research field, Prof. Cai initiated application of Extenics' theory and method to study decision and management problems in 1980. A training class of enterprise managers in GDUT's petrochemical department was held in 1986. From the training class, some enterprise management solutions were formulated and a relevant book was published.

In 1998, Prof. Cai and his group applied Extenics to business management, the enterprise forums were conducted and the extension marketing method was proposed.

Extenics has drawn great interest from industry enterprises and has a developing influence throughout the world. Prof. Cai was invited to introduce Extenics in Hong Kong and Taiwan, holding an extension engineering training class there. Many lectures and training classes have been held in many places throughout the country, for example, in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuhan, and Shenzhen.

Recognition of Extentics

Science Bulletin magazine , published by the Chinese Academy of Sciences writes, "Extenics is one of vigorous sciences. It belongs to not only China but also to the world. It is the pride of Chinese". The survey "Extension theory and its application" summarizes the research work of Extenics from the first paper of Extenics.

Due to his contribution to Extenics, Prof. Cai was nominated among the national distinguished experts of China charged by the , and he was also nominated among the outstanding young and middle-aged experts of Guangdong Province . Ever since, he has been granted a special government allowance from the Chinese State Council.

Bernard Chan

The Honourable Bernard Charnwut Chan , is a Hong Kong politician and businessman. He is the grandson of Chin Sophonpanich, the late founder of Bangkok Bank, and is a practicing Roman Catholic.

He graduated from Pomona College with a in Studio Art. He is the member of the . He was the member of the as well as the member of in Legco. He is married and has two children.

Outside of politics, he acts as President of Asia Financial Group, Chair of the Hong Kong-Thailand Business Council and Vice President of Oxfam Hong Kong. Chan has also been awarded , the Gold Bauhinia Star and Justice of the Peace .

Andrew Cheng

Andrew Cheng Kar Foo BA, MA, MEd, PCLL is member of the of Hong Kong . He is a member of the . He was the member of , and is currently member of .

Married and father of two, Cheng is a solicitor and represents the New Territories East constituency since 1998.

Albert Cheng

Albert Jinghan Cheng , nicknamed Tai-Pan was the member of the of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. He was formerly a popular current affairs commentator in Commercial Radio Hong Kong, and has left the job after an incident of alleged intimidation against him and a serious dispute with his former employer. After Donald Tsang became Chief Executive of Hong Kong, he announced that he will refuse future attendance of the round-table-meetings of the pro-democracy camp.

Personal life

Cheng was born in Hong Kong to a family which has roots in Chaozhou, Guangdong. His family has no notable political background. He studied at Kowloon Technical School, a government-funded vocational school. He later pursued his undergraduate degree in engineering and worked as an aircraft maintenance engineer.

Cheng left Hong Kong for Canada in 1968 after witnessing the Cultural Revolution in China. In 1971, he married with a popular Hong Kong singer, Paula Tsui but they broke up later. In 1987, he married Irene Lo Kam-sheung , a former winner of Miss Hong Kong Pageant contest.

Publishing and radio career

Albert Cheng was particularly concerned with social injustice and government incompetence. In his programme, he used to take the following action after receiving complaints from his audience: he called the alleged wrong-doer to ask for a response and pressed them to take remedial measures.

After the reunification of Hong Kong with the People' s Republic of China, he was dissatisfied with many policies of the . As he believed the HKSAR government was not performing satisfactorily his comments became more assertive and aggressive and he continued calling on the Chief Executive Mr.Tung Chee-hwa and his principal officials to resign.

He was popular with his radio audience, and was rated as one of the 25 most influential Hong Kong people in 1997' s poll and named as one of the Asia's Stars by BusinessWeek in 1998. He was informally named "Chief Executive before Ten" as "Teacup in the Storm" was broadcast from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.


Some of his comments nearly claimed his life. On August 19, 1998, Cheng was attacked by two assailants wielding a meat cleaver and carving knife. He received seven deep knife wounds outside the Commercial Radio Headquarters. The six deep wounds were on his arms, back, and right leg. It required eight hours of surgery to reconnect muscles, bones and nerve tissues. Doctors said if the ambulance had arrived 10 minutes later, or the cut had been any deeper, he would have died.

After the surgery, Cheng walked with a limp without any feeling in his foot. He could no longer grip with his left hand. Although his fingers in his right hand could exert strength, he cannot fully extend them. An $800,000 reward was posted for any relevant information reported about the case. Police caught the driver of the getaway car, who served five months in jail, but he refused to identify Cheng's attackers.

Many believed that Cheng's frequent criticism of certain individuals, especially those with connections or underground power, caused his attack.

After undergoing intensive physiotherapy and necessary medical treatment he allegedly returned to the Commercial Radio with a wounded leg.

Criticism and praise during the SARS crisis

In April 2003, there was a SARS outbreak in Hong Kong. Cheng harshly condemned Dr Ko Wing Man , then acting Chief Executive of the Hospital Authority, as failing to take effective measures to protect the public from the deadly disease. Dr Ko burst into tears while the programme was still on air.

After that, numerous medical professionals wrote to the Broadcasting Authority, complaining that Cheng had behaved unfairly and had exhibited a bias towards Dr. Ko. Subsequent spotlights intensified over Cheng's controversial and sensational style of hosting, in which many argued, resulted in him spending most of the air time talking, and as a result hampering and restricting callers as well as guests, from defending or explaining themselves.

However, he also initiated the "Do wear mask" campaign for fund-raising and collecting materials for medical professionals, SARS victims and their families. He also reflected the demands of medical professionals, urging prompt government actions on the crisis, and strengthening communication between government officials and citizens. He received an "Against SARS Award" in August 2003. He actively participated in the campaign of "Protecting Victoria Harbour" and well as achieving his goal of acquiring on behalf and for a number of elderly pensioners.

Allegations of suppression of freedom of speech

There was a public belief that Cheng, through his phone-in radio programme, wielded too much power and public influence. In early 2004, Cheng's show went on hiatus, with Cheng claiming that he and two other political talk show hosts - Wong Yuk-man and Allen Li Peng-fei - had been threatened by certain individuals with connections to the People's Republic of China government. The hiatus of the three most famous political talk show hosts in Hong Kong stirred waves of controversy.

There were also moves to monitor the radio broadcasting of both and Albert Cheng. Winnie Yu, the president of Commercial Radio, invited Tony Tsoi as her right-hand man, who in turn employed Leung Man To and Martin Oei to monitor the radio broadcasting of Wong Yuk-man and Albert Cheng respectively. Half of the broadcasting hours of Albert Cheng were trimmed, to make way for a new programme hosted by another person connected with Winnie Yu, as well as Teresa Mo.

After the initial waves of controversy had calmed down, another wave started when Winnie Yu decided to terminate Cheng's contract and called Allen Li Peng-fei a coward.

Mystery on suppression of freedom of speech again

In April 2004, Albert Cheng claimed that he was pressured by persons with obscure backgrounds over the past four years, telling him to stop criticising the government. Those veiled threats he claimed, petrified not only him but also his family. As a result, he requested a five-month vacation.

However, in July 2004, Ms Winnie Yu revealed an early settlement of Cheng's contract. She criticised that Cheng had always taken leave at his own convenience and that he could not guarantee the same thing would not happen again. She therefore concluded that it was a violation of the contracted terms. In addition, she said the fact that the hosts were running away one after another would destroy the freedom of speech. She could not accept it because it would have ruined the image of Hong Kong. Subsequently, she was determined to terminate Cheng's contract early.

In spite of the ceasing of their working relationship, Albert has commented that he had been "very happy" during his 10 years as a radio host in . The affair has not affected his friendship with Winnie Yu.

Surmounting election barrier

Cheng's departure exacerbated a wide-spread rumour that he was planning ahead to contest for a directly-elected seat in LegCo Election 2004. He was reported to have been applying for a cancellation of his Canadian passport for election purpose .

Later on, the truth was unveiled and the rumour verified. Cheng announced his decision to run for the election. There were, however, obstacles to this decision.

A lot had happened before his election in Legco. His former employer Commercial Radio questioned whether it was appropriate for him to be a Legco candidate given he was a former media worker. Most seriously, Cheng disclosed that he was prevented by Winnie Yu from participating in the election. He told the media that she had approached him, telling him that he could have his contract renewed if he dropped the decision to enter the election. "They didn't want me to host the programme and they would pay me every month. But there was one condition: I could not stand for Legco elections." Cheng said.

Winnie Yu had denied the accusation. She said the radio station did not receive any political pressure. "That is a big misunderstanding", she commented on the allegation. Nevertheless, Cheng had reported the case to . Ms Winnie Yu said Cheng had told Mr Tsoi Tung Ho, Tony , the then chief operating officer, in mid-June that he was considering standing for election. She said that he had to choose whether to keep the contract or stand for election. "I didn't want to delay his election timetable. We didn't mean to block him from standing, but the contract won't be valid if he stands." Later, Cheng's contract was formally terminated on June 25. It was alleged to have been issued by a law firm on behalf of the Commercial Radio station and delivered to Cheng while he was still in Canada.

Ms Yu said it was fair that the contract would become invalid if Cheng had stood for elections. "Many people will agree a Legco member should not have the most popular airtime programme as his platform at the same time."

Cheng said in his regular column in Ming Pao Weekly that Teacup would no longer be the "cup of tea of ordinary people" if it was full of rational analysis and without emotional input. No matter what the programme's new approach is, Cheng's Teacup has come to an end.

Passion in politics

Cheng promised his voters that he would walk with them, no matter whether it is a sunny, cloudy or rainy day. There were certain issues, which were quite important to the livelihood of lower income group, like promising to improve conditions for public housing tenants and push through development project. He proposed the prompt urban renewal of Yue Man Square in Kwun Tong, first proposed in 1981, and the relocation of the residents to vacant public housing flats in the area. In addition, he proposed that the former Kai Tak Airport site should be turned into the largest urban park in Kowloon, while a Fisherman's Wharf should be built at Lei Yue Mun to attract tourists and stimulate the Kowloon East economy. The most important thing is that he would continue his tough-talking style. He was elected mainly because he is a fresh element that will increase interest and the motivation of voters to participate, as referred by political scientist Ivan Choy, who taught at Chinese University of Hong Kong.

As a lawmaker

Media attention was then directed to speculation on which constituency Cheng would compete in. As a matter of fact, even Cheng himself was swinging between New Territories West or Kowloon East constituency.

At the beginning, , a veteran local politician, was reportedly found to approach Cheng, discussing about a possible election partnership in New Territories West. But politics changed very quickly. Cheng was then determined to contest in Kowloon East constituency, where he partnered with Andrew To Kwan-hang , a district councillor of Wong Tai Sin constituency and a member of .

Albert Cheng not only had to compete hard against pro-Beijing candidates but also pro-democracy ones. In Kowloon East Constituency, there were two pro-Beijing lists, one headed by unionist Chan Yuen-han and another by Chan Kam-lam, both were influential members of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong . Democrat led Wu Chi-wai and Ho Wai-to to contest in the constituency. Apart from Fred Li' s list, Cheng also faced with the challenge from , a senior counsel rose to popularity during the Basic Law controversy.

During his campaign in Sau Mau Ping, he encountered threats of violence and offensive statements about him by more than 100 elderly people. He criticised the behavior of those people and said it was "the darkest day in Hong Kong".

Even though competition within the pro-democracy camp was fierce, Albert Cheng won overwhelmingly on the election day. Of a total of 293,702 valid votes in the Kowloon East constituency, Cheng' s list received 73,424, accounted to around 40%. His triumph was believably attributable to his populist campaign platform and possession of a strong grassroot support. His principles include championing social justice, supervising government to prevent corruption and upholding freedom of speech and human rights.

On September 21, 2004, he told reporters that he would retire at the end of LegCo 2007. After that, on September 29, 2008, he started a new TV programme 也文也武 on ATV Home with HD4.

Life as a columnist

Albert Cheng also writes a column in the South China Morning Post. His column can be found in the Insight page of the Post. The content of the column is normally related to current affairs in Hong Kong. The readers can even have a live interactive internet session with him at certain times.

Yip Kai Foon

Yip Kai Foon is a famous Hong Kong gangster who was most active in the early 1980s. He and his gang specialized in robbing jewellery stores with assault rifles. Their weapon of choice was the AK-47 assault rifle, which they acquired from black markets hosted by . He is also the first person to use an AK47 in armed-robbery in Hong Kong.

In 1984, when he was 23, Yip led a gang of five armed mainland men into Hong Kong. They robbed two jewelry stores, including one in the heart of the bustling financial district. Their haul: more than $700,000 of precious items.

A year later in 1985, Yip was captured and sentenced to 18 years in prison. But he escaped in 1989, when he faked appendicitis and was transferred to hospital. In the toilet, he jumped his two police guards with broken bottles and made off in a waiting van. He is presumed to have fled into mainland China.

In 1991, he and his gang, armed with AK-47s and pistols, robbed five goldsmiths shops in Hong Kong. They fired 54 shots at police and escaped with gold and jewelry worth more than $700,000.

Yip is thought to have been involved in a jewelry store robbery in 1993, when a gang fired 30 rounds from AK-47s, killing a woman passerby. One robber was shot by police during the chase; the others dumped his body on the street when they switched getaway cars.

The total worth of his stolen goods is estimated at 20 million Hong Kong Dollars . Yip achieved notoriety by escaping police custody multiple times. His career finally came to an end in 1996 when he was crippled in a gun fight with police. He was sentenced to 41 years in prison.

In prison, Yip converted to Christianity.

Wong Kwong Yu

Wong Kwong Yu, , also often called Huang Guangyu in mainland China, is the Chairman of Gome Group, which is the largest consumer electronics retailer in China. He had a net worth of US$1.7 billion as of 2005, according to Forbes Magazine's world's richest people ranking. In 2005, the richest man in China according to .

In 2006, he was forced by regulations to sell off 25% of Gome Group, as listed in Hong Kong, making his net worth US$2.5 billion, according to some sources. His amibitious goals include "making Gome one of the 500 largest companies in the world by 2008".

Vincent Lo

Vincent Lo or Lo Hong Shui, born in 1948, is the chairman of Hong Kong-based Shui On Group, a building-materials and construction firm.

Lo started business with the sum of HK$100,000 borrowed from his father, a Hong Kong property tycoon. In 1984 Lo began investing in Shanghai and built a hotel in partnership with the Shanghainese Communist Youth League. The Tiananmen Square crisis caused occupancy to plunge, and the league could not repay its construction loan. Lo assisted the league in dealing with the loan: Han Zheng was the Youth League secretary at the time, and is now mayor of Shanghai. In association with Xu Kuangdi, a former Shanghai mayor, Han assisted Lo in gaining the right to develop a piece of land surrounding the hall where the Communist Party of China held its first meeting, now known as Xintiandi. The $170 million property development project is a 20,000 square meter complex of restaurants, bars and shops and is a prime entertainment spot in Shanghai.

In 1995, Lo bought his first cement plant in Chongqing, which has enabled the Shui On Group to become one of China's top three cement companies.

Under Lo's direction, the Shui On Group is carrying out property development projects in other Chinese cities, such as Wuhan, Dalian, Foshan and Hangzhou, as well as Chongqing.

Victor Li Tzar-kuoi

Victor Li Tzar-kuoi , a Hong Kong-based businessman with citizenship, is the son of tycoon and billionaire Li Ka-shing and the brother of Richard Li. Li had a net worth of $730 million CDN in 2006.

Early Years

Born in Hong Kong, he holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Structural Engineering from Stanford.

Victor Li was kidnapped in 1996 by notorious gangster "Big Spender" Cheung Chi Keung, and released after a reported ransom of HK$1 billion was paid.

Business career

Li currently holds the following positions:

* Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of
* Chairman of Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Limited
* Chairman of CK Life Sciences Int'l., Inc.
* Deputy Chairman of Hutchison Whampoa Limited
* Executive Director of Hongkong Electric Holdings Limited
* Co-Chairman of Husky Energy Inc.
* Director of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited

Other Positions

Victor Li serves as a member of the Standing Committee of the 10th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference of the People's Republic of China. He is also a member of the Executive Committtee of the Commission on Strategic Development of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Canadian Connection

Li immigrated to Canada and spent time with investment bank , a company later acquired by CIBC . He is the Co-Chairman of Canadian-based Husky Energy.

Thomas Chang

Thomas M.S. Chang, is a physician and scientist.

In 1957, while an undergraduate at McGill University he invented the world's first artificial cell. Working with improvised materials like perfume atomizers inside his dorm room turned laboratory, Chang managed to create a permeable plastic sack that would effectively carry almost as effectively as a natural . He went on to complete his , , and degrees at McGill. Chang's career continued as Director of the Artificial Cells and Organs Research Centre and Professor of Physiology, Medicine & Biomedical Engineering in the at McGill University.

In the late sixties he discovered enzymes carried by artificial cells could correct some metabolic disorders and also developed charcoal-filled cells to treat drug poisoning. His work on finding a safe blood substitute brought him to prominence in the 1980s and 1990s, earning him an Order of Canada.

Tang Choon Keng

Tang Choon Keng was a Singaporean entrepreneur, who founded Tangs department store in Singapore. He was popularly known as CK Tang. Tang has been credited for leading the way for the retail market in Singapore and establishing Orchard Road as a premier retail district in Singapore.

Early life

A , Tang was born at the turn of the 20th century in Shantou, China to a Presbyterian pastor. He emigrated to the British colony of Singapore in 1923.

In Singapore, Tang began as a door-to-door salesman peddling hand-made Swatow lace, embroidery and linen products. With a hired rickshaw, Tang carried his goods in a pair of tin s which remained in his possession as a reminder of his humble beginnings. Tang later became known as the "Tin Trunk Man" and the "Curio King" for his rags to riches legacy.

Establishment of Tangs

In 1932, Tang was able to embark on a larger venture, having accumulated sufficient funds through hard work. He established a department store in 1932 with an initial of 3,000. Tang set up his first shop on the first floor of a building on River Valley Road, selling craft products from China.

Subsequently in 1940, Tang financed the construction of a new building at the corner of and River Valley Road to house a new department store. He called the new edifice ''Gainurn Building'', a variation of his father's name Tang Gan Urn. The department store sold a vast array of merchandise. By the 1950s, CK Tang had opened several more branches.

In 1958, Tang bought a 1,351-square metre piece of land at the corner of Orchard Road and Scotts Road at a cost of S$10,000 to further his vision of expanding his business. Although the site faced the Tai San Ting Cemetery, he felt that it had commercial value as many British housewives in the Tanglin area could stop by on their way to the . The decision was made against the advice of fellow businessmen who thought Orchard Road was unfashionable then. Years later, when the Singapore Government designated and developed Orchard Road as a prime shopping and tourist district, the price of land soared from S$3 per m? to S$6,000 per m?.

With the acquired land plot, Tang constructed the landmark C.K. Tang Department Store at 310 Orchard Road at a cost of S$50,000. The building's green-tiled roof and facade was modelled after the Imperial Palace of the Forbidden City in Beijing. In 1960, Tang voluntarily closed the store due to problems with the trade unions, but Tangs was re-opened the following year. In 1975, Tang's company was .

In the late 1970s, Tang expanded his business again when he decided to develop the neighbouring property lots which he had bought years before. In 1982, the building on Orchard Road was demolished to make way for the new Tang complex, comprising the 33-storey deluxe Dynasty Hotel and the Tangs shopping complex . The shopping complex consists of five floors of retail space covering more than 15,000 m?, under the slogan "All The Best Under One Roof".

In 1991, Tangs opened its first overseas branch in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Tang also collaborated with Malaysia's Mayang Sari Bhd to develop real estate, hotels and commercial properties in Kuala Lumpur. He also assisted the Dairy Farm International Holdings in its retail business in Malaysia.

Until 1996, Tangs was the only major shopping centre in Singapore to not operate on Sundays, in deference to Tang's Christian faith. Tang instituted the policy so that his family and Christian staff could attend church on Sundays. As a staunch Christian, Tang spoke of honesty and hard work as his guiding principles.

Tang's distinctive management philosophy was the focus on people, both customers and staff. Emphasis was given to quality of the staff, reasonable pricing and warm . Tang believed in investing in his staff, as his frontline staff would be the ones who would be in direct contact with the customers and he believed that the of the store depended on them. As a result, Tang reserved a substantial annual budget for staff training, which included tailored programs for sales staff, supervisors and management. Supervisors and managers were expected to undergo a minimum 100 hours of training. Tang also made an effort to get in touch with his staff at all levels, in order understand his customers' expectations on product and service quality. Despite the company's poor financial results in certain years, Tangs retained its reputation for good service and reliability.

Tang retired in 1987, handing the reins of corporate leadership to the second of his three sons, Tang Wee Sung. However, Tang retained the post of company president and was rarely out of touch with company business, personally checking the company's accounts and meeting suppliers.

Personal life

Besides CK Tang, Tang Choon Keng was also known as Tang Un Tien.

In 1960, Tang was kidnapped by four armed thugs, but was freed unharmed within 84 hours after the family reportedly paid S$150,000 in ransom.

Tang's first wife passed away in 1980; he subsequently remarried. Tang had eight children. On September 3 2000, Tang died peacefully at home with his family around him at the age of 99.


Tang died on 3 September, 2000 in Singapore.

Tan Soo Khoon

Tan Soo Khoon , is a former of the Parliament of Singapore, and a member of the current ruling party, the People's Action Party. He was first elected in 1976, and stepped down in April 2006 as the PAP began fielding new candidates for the nation's . Then 27, he is the youngest person ever to be elected to the Parliament of Singapore. He and former Goh Chok Tong were elected to public office at the same time.

Tan served 7 terms as an MP. He held the Office of Deputy Speaker from 1985 to 1989, and was the Speaker of Parliament from 1989 to 2002. He is married and has two daughters.

Early life and education

The former-Speaker was born and raised in a middle-class family, where he attended the prestigious Anglo-Chinese School from Primary 1 through pre-University. He graduated in 1971 from the former University of Singapore with an honors undergraduate degree in Business Administration. His maternal grandfather is Lee Wee Nam, born 1880, who is one of the most prominent Chinese-Teochew figures in Singapore history, and founder of Lee Hiok Kee Pte Ltd.

Political career

In 1969, Tan served as the general secretary of the university students' union. In 1972, he began assisting in Kuo Chuan constituency, where he learned about the needs of the working-class of Singapore society. It is his strong desire for social equality and improving the lives of the less fortunate that has made his Parliamentary speeches well-known amongst his fellow MPs. Tan took a 13-year break from speech-making when he became Speaker. He is remembered for his fairness to both sides of the floor of the House, allowing members of both the ruling party and the opposition to speak their minds. He is also remembered for his sense of humor, for his notes to fellow MPs would be signed off "The Watchman", a take on his private business, and his role as Speaker.

During his stint as the Speaker, he was also President of the AIPO for the 1989-1990, 1994-1995 and 1999-2000 sessions. He also twice served ''ex officio'' as acting president when the and Deputy Prime Minister were both out of the country on official business.

Tan also supervised the building of the new Parliament House, heading the Committee on the Parliament Complex Development Project. The new building was completed in 1999, and a ceremony was conducted to officiate the "move" from the old Parliament House near the Supreme Court to the new one along the Singapore River.


In April 2002, when he stepped down as Speaker after 13 years, Tan immediately made it known that as a backbencher, with his brutal honesty and openness, he could still "shake the House". Many of his speeches provided witty, pointed, even scathing, remarks about certain government policies and expenditures, such as the extravagance of certain public buildings and the rising cost of public transportation.

In a tribute by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on April 15th 2006, he said of Tan, "He makes very good speeches in Parliament. Sometimes, he draws blood... Sometimes he has offended ministers, but he has spoken his mind."

Having retired from politics, he aims to devote more of his time to his business, his family and friends. Most of all, he will be spending more time with his band, a group of schoolmates from ACS and university, known as The Young Once, which has been a regular appearance on charity events, since they formed in the late 1990s, while Tan was still Speaker of Parliament.

Tan Howe Liang

Tan Howe Liang is a weightlifter from Singapore who earned himself a place in history as the first Singaporean to win an Olympic Games medal, which he did in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome where he won the silver medal in the lightweight category. Tan also broke oldest-standing world record in the lightweight category in the clean and jerk in 1958.


Early life

Born in Shantou, China, Tan was the third of eight siblings. In 1937, he emigrated with his family from China to settle in of Singapore. Tan's father died in a death-house at Sago Lane in Chinatown when he was 14. Tan stopped schooling after his first year at a secondary school.

Weightlifting career

Tan's weightlifting career started when he walked past the former Gay World Amusement Park with his friends one day. There, Tan witnessed his first weightlifting competition and became intrigued with the sport.

Tan showed potential for weightlifting. After one year of training, Tan, then 20, became the national junior and senior champion in the lightweight division in 1953.

The lack of financial support meant that Tan had to pay out of his own pocket to finance his training and expenses. At that time, Tan was working as a clerk at Cathay Organisation. He also worked as a mechanic. However, he plodded on, after his late father that "One day, I will be the strongest man in the world".

In 1956, Tan failed at his first attempt in the at Melbourne where he . However, in 1958, Tan established a world record with a lift of 347 s in the for the lightweight division at the 6th British Empire and Commonwealth Games, now known as the Commonwealth Games, in Cardiff. He also won a gold at the 3rd Asian Games in Tokyo that year. In 1959, Tan won a gold medal at the in Bangkok.

On 8 September 1960, Tan made another attempt at the in Rome. In the lightweight category competition held at the Palazetto Dello Sports Hall, Russia's Viktor Busheuv had already won the gold by breaking the world record. It was down to Tan and Iraq's Abdul Wahid Aziz for the silver medal. Tan had one clean and jerk lift left when he felt some pain in his legs. The advised that he return to the Athlete's Village for , which would have meant a withdrawal from the competition. However, Tan did not give up and competed to claim the silver medal. He lifted a total of 380 kg to beat 33 rivals for second place.

Life after the Olympics

After his win at the Olympics, Tan tried to run a restaurant business but was unsuccessful. He worked as a taxi driver for a short stint, before becoming a weight-lifting in 1974. After his retirement from competition, Tan was hired as a gym supervisor by the Singapore Sports Council at the Kallang Family ClubFitt in November 1982.

Up until 1999, Tan continued to to work daily, six days a week. He lives in a three-room Housing Development Board on Jalan Batu in Tanjong Rhu with his wife and daughter.


Tan's Olympic medal made him the only Singaporean to have won a medal at all the major international games — the Seap Games, the Asian Games, the Commonwealth Games and the Olympic Games for 48 years. He also became the first weightlifter in the world to be awarded the International Weightlifting Federation Gold Award in 1984. In Singapore, Tan was the only athlete to be bestowed the ''Pingat Jasa Gemilang'' at the National Day awards.

On 26 June 1996, a commemorative medallion set by the Singapore Mint was launched to celebrate the 1996 Olympic Games at Atlanta. It features Tan on one side of the medallion, showing him getting ready to lift weights. When the image is tilted to a certain angle, the picture would show him having lifted the weights. , the official mascot of the Atlanta Olympics, is featured as a on the other side of the medallion.

In 1999, Tan was nominated for the "Spirit of the Century" award. In the same year, he was also nominated for "Singapore's Greatest Athlete" award, but conceded the award to former badminton champion, Wong Peng Soon, who was a four-time winner in the All England Open Badminton Championships in the 1950s. Tan was featured in 's "Millennium" series on Singapore sporting greats in 1999.

In 2000, McDonald's sponsored Tan's trip to the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, where he joined the Singapore contingent and attended the weightlifting competition. McDonald's also donated S$10,000 with the aim to help revive the sport of weightlifting in Singapore. McDonald's also featured a two-minute special television commercial, titled "We Can Do It", featuring Tan's silver medal-winning feat at the 1960 Rome Olympics. The commercial re-enacts the different stages of Tan's life, from childhood to his triumph at the Olympics.

Tan is a man who never ed. Compared to the present day where Singapore athletes are promised a reward of S$1 million for winning a gold medal at the Olympics, Tan did not receive any monetary rewards for his effort in 1960.

Tan was given the honour of being the flagbearer at the closing ceremony of the on 30 June 2007. The leotard and which Tan wore during his 10?-hour competition in Rome were put on display in a glass case in the Singapore Sports Council's Sports Museum at the National Stadium.



Taksin the Great ; ; Teochew: Dênchao; was born in April 17, 1734 in the reign of Borommakot. Taksin was the only king of the . He has been recognized as one of the great Thai kings, for his prowess in warfare, his leadership in liberating the country after Ayutthaya was taken by the Burmese in 1767, and his ability in unifying the country after it had been split up into many factions.

Taksin was put to death on April 6,1782 at the age of 48 after a 15-year reign. After he was executed, his remains were buried at Wat Bang Yireua Tai, in 1785, Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke had the remains disinterred and cremated at the same temple. A tomb containing Taksin's clothes and a family shrine were found at Ching Hai district in Teochew province in China in 1921. It is believed that a descendant of Taksin the Great must have sent his clothes to be buried there to conform to Chinese practice. This supports the claim that the place was his father's hometown.

Taksin had accomplished so much for the Thais in his short reign. Without his leadership, the country would not have been rid of the Burmese and become unified so soon. In recognition of what he had done for the country, the government has declared December 28 a day of homage to the King. A state ceremony has been held annually at the memorial to Taksin in Wongwian Yai in Bangkok since 1954. On October 27, 1981, the cabinet passed a resolution to honor him as "King Taksin the Great."

Early life and career

He was born in in the reign of Borommakot of Ayutthaya and given the name ''Sin'' . His father Hai-Hong, who worked as a tax-collector, was a immigrant with roots from Chenghai District, and his mother Lady Nok-lang was . When aged 7 he started his education in a . After 7 years of education he was sent by his father to serve as a royal page. According to legend, when he and his friend Tong-Duang were Buddhist novices they met a Chinese fortune-teller who told them that they both had lucky in the palms of their hands and would both become kings. Neither took it seriously, but Tong-Duang was later the successor of King Taksin, Rama I.

Sin was first deputy governor and later governor of the Tak province, which gained him his name ''Tak-Sin'', "Treasure of Tak," ; though his official noble title was ''Phraya Tak''. When he was promoted to be governor of Kamphaeng Phet province, he had to return to Ayutthaya. The attacked at that time and besieged the Thai capital. Taksin took a leading part in the city's defense. Shortly before Ayutthaya fell in 1767, Taksin cut his way out of the city at the head of a small army. This action was never adequately explained as the Royal compound and Ayutthaya proper was located on an island; how Taksin and his followers fought their way out of the Burmese encirclement remains a mystery.

After the destruction of Ayutthaya and the death of the Thai king, the country was split into six parts, with Taksin controlling the east coast. Together with Tong-Duang, now General Chao Phraya Chakri, he managed to drive back the Burmese, defeat his rivals and reunify the country.

In 1765, Phraya Tak came to Ayutthaya to help defend the capital. He fought valiantly and earned great recognition. He was promoted to the title and rank of Phraya Wachira Prakan, Governor of Kamphaeng Phet. It is believed, that prior to the fall of Ayutthaya, he got out of the capital by fighting his way through the Burmese seige with the aim of assembling men to liberate the country.

According to the royal Thai chronicle, Phraya Tak and his followers, after breaking out of Ayutthaya, headed for the east coast. On the way, they encountered many Burmese troops but were able to defeat them all. He became widely known for his military prowess and many came to pledge their service.

In the fifth lunar month of the year 1767, Ayutthaya was lost to the Burmese and the attitudes of high ranking officials changed with the situation. Some thought of setting themselves up as heads of state. Even Phraya Chantaburi, who had promised friendship to Phraya Tak, revoked his promise. The latter, therefore, led his army to capture Chantaburi and Trad and returned to make a stand at Chantaburi, making it his headquarters for collection of provisions and arms. In the meantime, other commanders and officers came to join him. The most important was Nai Sudchinda, an officer of the Royal Pages Department, who later became Khrom Phra Ratchawang Bawon Sathan Monkon in the Reign of Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke.

At the end of the monsoon season, Phraya Tak led his forces from Chantaburi to the Chao Phraya River delta in the twelfth lunar month of the same year. After he had taken Thon Buri, he attacked the Pho Sam Ton Camp in Ayutthaya and was able to seize the camp in two days. His triumph over the Burmese at the Pho Sam Ton Camp was symbolic of the liberation of the country. After capturing the camp, he tried to put the country back in order. Then he brought people back to Thon Buri and established it as his capital because the site was more appropriate than Ayutthaya. In 1768 he was crowned king. After the coronation, King Taksin proceeded at once to unify the country . Besides waging war to drive the Burmese out of the country, the king had to subdue the Thais who set themselves up as heads of various factions. His military successes resulted in the country being united once again

Before the fall of Ayutthaya

Hsinbyushin of Burma sent two armies to attack Ayutthaya from two directions, via the northern route to the mouth of the Prasop River and via the southern route to the Thung Phu Koa Thong . He also had all the supply routes cut off with the aim of destroying the kingdom completely so that it could no longer afford to help the Burmese vassal states.

One military hero that emerged was Phraya Tak. He was originally a commoner of Chinese descent but because of his intellectual ability and expertise in law, he was accepted into government service. He worked so well for the benefit of the country that the king appointed him governor of Tak, with the title of Phraya Taksin. Upon learning of the Burmese attack on the capital, Phraya Tak rushed to help defend it. He was ordered to lead a division to fight the Burmese near Wat Pa Kaew, or Wat Yai. He defended the capital to the best of his ability and became known as one of the greatest warriors.

Though Phraya Tak fought valiantly, he could not repel the Burmese army. He was only able to prevent them from entering the capital. What made the situation worse was the desertion of army captains and commanders guarding the city. Chaos ruled everywhere and Phraya Tak became discouraged by the court weaknesses.

The Burmese besieged Ayutthaya for about two years. Phraya Tak, who made a stand at Wat Phichai camp, outside the city wall, realized that the city would soon be lost. Moreover, his army suffered greatly from a shortage of food and the Burmese outnumbered his men. If he went on fighting, he would lead them to death for no good reason. The future king then decided to lead his troops, together with those who came for his protection, about 500 Thai and Chinese, and fought his way through the enemy line at Wat Phichai on Saturday, January, 1767. He headed for towns on the eastern coast, which were free of Burmese influence, and which were centers of communication with other major provinces in the kingdom, using them as bases for assembling men and weapons to liberate the country.

Soon after Phraya Tak broke through the enemy line with his troops. Ayutthaya was taken by the Burmese on April 7, 1767. That day the capital was engulfed in smoke and flame, with thunderous roars as if the earth was falling apart. Hsibyushin of Burma wanted to completely destroy the Kingdom of Ayutthaya so orders were issued to burn the whole city, all the palaces as well as the temples, pagodas, Buddha images and the city wall, and to take the king together with everyone in the royal family, and all the treasures to Burma. Ayutthaya was reduced to ruins.

Phraya Tak, who was in Rayong at the time, summoned officials and townspeople for a meeting and announced his firm determination to cherish and uphold Buddhism, liberate the country, and restoring the kingdom to its former glory. All the officers and men who heard the declaration unanimously asked Phraya Tak to be their leader and called him Chao Tak. He then led his troops, consisting of Thai and Chinese, to coastal towns in the east, waiting for an opportune moment to liberate the country.

Important step to liberate the country

The various steps taken by King Taksin to liberate the country at that time show his ingenuity in warfare. He shrewdly made plans for both fighting on land and at sea.

From Ayutthaya to eastern towns

The morning after he broke through the enemy line at Wat Phichai in January, 1768, Phraya Tak headed for Ban Pho Sanghan, where he clashed with Burmese garrison and defeated them. The general then led his exhausted men, to Ban Phran Nok for a rest. One group was sent out to find food. By chance it came upon 200 Burmese soldiers, who pursued them to Ban Phran Nok. Phraya Tak divided his men into two groups and ordered them to lie in ambush while he and four other officers on horseback fiercely charged thirty Burmese cavalrymen. The Burmese were surprised and retreated only to collide with their own infantry. This gave the men who were hiding on both sides of the path the opportunity to outflank the Burmese and kill them all.

Seeing that Phraya Tak could overcome the Burmese, people who had previously been in hiding submitted themselves and help persuade heads of various groups to acknowledge his leadership. Those who refused to do so were forcefully suppressed, their elephants, horses, vehicles, provisions, and weapons confiscated. Then Phraya Tak proceeded by way of Na Reung in Nakhon Nayok, passed through the Kob Chae outpost, crossed the Prachinburi River, and settled at the edge of Si Maha Pho on the east side. At that time, a group of Burmese forces stationed at the mouth of the river followed Phraya Tak's troops and attacked. The Burmese were killed and none dared trail Phraya Tak's army again.

Phraya Tak then traveled through Chacheongsao and entered Chonburi. He learned that a certain leader called Nai Thongyu Nok lek opposed him and tried avoid joining him. When Phraya Tak confronted him, however, Nai Thongyu Nok Lek feared for his life and submitted himself without further ado. Phraya Tak's army moved on to Na Kloe and Bang Lamung and finally to Rayong where the governor of Rayong, who had heard about Phraya Tak, humbly invited him to enter the city. From the day Phraya Tak broke through the enemy line from Ayutthaya to the entry into Rayong took less than one month. This shows that Phraya Tak's faction was a power of greater potentiality than other factions.

Strategic Importance of Chantaburi

From Rayong, Phraya Tak marched his army past Klaeng to Bang Kracha with the aim of taking Chantaburi, a major province, as his base, to build public morale. The governor of Chantaburi, however, refused to submit. Phraya Tak then devised a psychological strategy, ordering all his men to finish their evening meal, throw away the left overs, and smash all the pots and pans. He declared that they would take Chantaburi that night and eat breakfast in the city. This display of confidence that he would win Chantaburi meant either victory or death for him and his troops.

That evening Phraya Tak ordered the Thai and Chinese troops to surround the city and hide and waiting for the signal to attack from all sides. They were instructed not to utter a sound until the city was taken. The first group that entered the city would cheer as a signal to others. The army lay in wait until three o'clock in the morning. Then Phraya Tak mounted his elephant, called Phang Khiri, ordered a shot to be fired as a signal, and drove his elephant to break down the city gate. When the guards manning the fortifications realized what was going on, they showered gunfire on the troops. The mahout, fearing that Phraya Tak would be hit, pulled the elephant back. Phraya Tak was so exasperated that he pulled out his sword to strike the man. The mahout then pleaded for his life and rushed the elephant against the gate until it fell down. The troops rushed into the city and the townspeople dispersed. Phraya Chantaburi and his family fled to Bantaimat in a boat. Phraya Tak took the city on Sunday, June 15, 1767, only two months after the fall of Ayutthaya.

After taking Chantaburi, the general headed for Trat. City officials and people who heard the news were afraid and humbly came out to surrender.

At that time, there were Chinese junks moored at the month of Trat river. Phraya Tak asked their captains to come and see him but they refused, and fighting ensued. He devised a plan whereby fighting vessels fromed a circle around the junks. The Chinese retaliated by firing their cannons. After half a day of fierce naval engagement, Phraya Tak was able to seize all the Chinese junks together with a lot of weapons and ammunition.

It should be noted that Phraya Tak's war vessels were only small long boats, about the size of present day racing boats. They were, however, able to engage in a battle and seize larger junks equipped with cannons.

Effective planning back to Ayutthaya

After the Trat battle, Phraya Tak went back to his base in Chantaburi and ordered that more fighting vessels be built and more weapons assembled. The future king devoted three months to training men and building war boats so that his mighty fleet would be ready to go into combat right after the monsoon season. He realized that moving troops by land would be disadvantageous. The distances were too far and they would be unable to keep the journey a secret. The Burmese would retaliate and fighting would delay the troops who would be tired by the time they reach Ayutthaya. Phraya Tak also knew two weaknesses of the Burmese, they were only good at fighting on land and they do not have fighting boats.

When all the preparations were made, the future king chose to leave Chantaburi with his fleet in October at the end of the monsoon season, when the areas around Ayutthaya were flooded. He entered the Chao Phraya estuary, attacked the enemy camp at Thon Buri, and took the town after defeating Nai Thong In, who was put in charge of defense there by the Burmese.

Phraya Tak then moved on to Ayutthaya to surprise the Burmese. They did not have time to make any plan. The general was able to land his troops, crush the Burmese at the Pho Sam Ton Camp completely and liberate the country on November 7, 1767, only seven months after Ayutthaya was taken by the Burmese.

Establishment of Thon Buri as a capital

Thon Buri at that time was the right size for Taksin. Located in the middle of a mud plain, the city was easy to defend and its proximity to sea made it feasible to escape to coastal town in the east in an emergency. Moreover, the city was near Ayutthaya, making it convenient to guard the old capital against the influence of other factions. With these strategic considerations, Thon Buri was established as the new capital called Krung Thon Buri Si Mahasamut, or Thon Buri the Glory of the Ocean. The king also had a palace built on the west bank of the Chao Phraya in the vicinity of the Wichaiprasit Fort.

Life as King

On December 28, 1768, he was crowned king of Siam in the new capital at Thonburi. Two years later, King Taksin launched a war against the Nguyen Lords over their control of Cambodia. After some initial defeats, the joint Siamese-Cambodian army defeated the Nguyen army in 1771 and 1772. These defeats helped provoke an internal rebellion which would soon sweep the Nguyen out of power. In 1773, the Nguyen made peace with King Taksin, giving back some land they controlled in Cambodia. Over the next few years, Taksin managed to gain control over Chiang Mai and putting Cambodia under the vassalage of Siam by 1779, after repeated military campaigns.

In order to legitimize his claim for the Kingdom, he sent a diplomatic envoy to China which then was ruled by Qianlong Emperor. China recognized King Taksin as the rightful ruler of Siam, and Taksin began the reunification of Siam. During this time he actively encouraged the Chinese to settle in Siam, principally those from Chaozhou, partly with the intention to revive the stagnating economy and upgrading the local workforce at that time.

King Taksin had to fight almost constantly for most of his reign to maintain the independence of his country. As the economic influence of the immigrant Chinese community grew with time many aristocrats, which he took in from the Ayutthaya nobility began to turn against him for having allied with the Chinese merchants. The opposition were led mainly by the Bunnags, a trader-aristocrat family of Persian origins.

In 1775, Siam faced the most lowest economic, thus he donated his fund to buy rice and clothes costly for his people. Later, Siam's economic recovered and boomed. King Taksin supported all kind of trading faithfully, no corruption.

Thai historians indicate that the strain on him took its toll and the king started to become a religious fanatic. In 1781 Taksin showed increasing signs of madness. He believed himself to be a future , and he flogged monks who refused to worship him as such. Several historians have suggested that this tale may have been created as an excuse for his overthrow. However, the letters of a French priest who was in Thonburi at the time support the accounts of the monarch's peculiar behavior.

Defense the country and expansion of the kingdom

Taksin the Great considered the defense of the country his main mission in life. He devoted all his time to the unification of the kingdom and the defense of the land.

Unification of the Kingdom

After the destruction of the 400 year-old kingdom of Ayutthaya, provincial governors became bold and set themselves up as kings. Chao Phraya Phitsanulok, Chao Phimai, Chao Phraya Nakhon Si Thammarat, and Chao Phra Fang were four major factions.

Taksin planned to subdue the heads of these major factions to unify the country and restore stability to the kingdom as in Ayutthaya times. Campaigns to unify the country started after the king was crowned in 1768.

Defense of Border Towns

Another undertaking to which Taksin had committed himself all his life was defending the kingdom against all enemies.

Taksin often had to wage war to defend border towns and in all fought eight battles with the Burmese. With his ingenious strategy and military prowess, he emerged victorious every time. In 1767 he attacked the Burmese camps at Pho Sam Ton district and successfully freed the country from Burmese domination. In the same year a battle was fought at Bang Kung in Samut Songkhram Province ; the king led his troops in a fierce fight with the Burmese, who had to retreat by way of Tavoy. He seized all their provisions, boats and weapons. In 1774 he was able to capture Chiang Mai and rid the north of Burmese influence. Thus, Thai territory was, therefore, extended to include the whole of Lanna with the exception of Chiang Saen.

Expansion of the Kingdom

The Thai kingdom under Taksin extended much further than it did in Ayutthaya times as Phutthaimat and Cambodia also acknowledged Thai suzerainty. In 1776 Thon Buri extended its territory as far as southern Laos, with Champasak, Seethandon, Attapue, and Cambodian jungle towns, namely Surin, Sangkha and Khukhan as vassal states. In 1778 Vientiane and Luang Phrabang were captured and the Emerald Buddha was brought to Thon Buri. It can be said that the many battles that he fought to protect and extend the kingdom firmly established our independence and stability up until today.

The Thai Kingdom in the Thon Buri Period
After Phraya Tak was crowned king, the kingdom under his rule was much bigger than it was in Ayutthaya times. It included the following provinces : Thon Buri, Ayutthaya, Ang thong, Singburi, Lopburi, Uthai thani, Nakhon Sawan, Chacheongsao, Prachinburi, Nakhon Nayok, Chonburi, Rayong, Chantaburi, Trat, Nakhon Chaisi, Nakhon Prathom, Suphanburi, Ratchaburi, Samut Sakhon, Samut Songkhram, Petchaburi, Kanchanaburi, and Prachuab Khirikhan.

Throughout his reign, Taksin carried out his policy of extending the kingdom of Thon Buri far and wide:

In the north, including the whole of Lanna

In the south, including Sai Buri and Trengganu

In the east, Including Cambodia adjoining South Vietnam

In the northeast, including Vientiane, Phuan, Luang Phrabang, and Hua Phan Ha Thang Hok

In the southeast, including Phutthaimat

In the west, as far as Mergui and Tenasserim leading to the Indian Ocean

Law and administration of justice

The country was at war all through Taksin's reign, so there was barely time to revise laws and court regulations for judging legal cases. Laws from Ayutthaya times continued to be used in this period. The Department of the Palace Affairs or the Ministry of the Royal Household had the responsibility of deciding in which court a case should be tried and sent it accordingly.

However in this reign, Taksin held the military court very frequently. In passing judgment, though the king handed down the severest sentence, he would have the convict punished in stages, starting with the lightest punishment.

In several cases, it seemed that those who committed serious offenses were spared heavy punishment by being assigned to other activities for atonement.

Royal trade with foreigner

The Thon Buri period is considered a golden age for foreign relations for both Royalty and civilians. Taksin was very much interested in foreign trade because he viewed it as a venue to increase the country's income. The profits also help alleviate the tax burden on his people. Many royal galleons were thus sent out for international commerce creating economic stability for nation.

* Trade with China Throughout Taksin's reign, Chinese ships sailed for trade with Thon Buri. Royal galleons were also sent to China, which was considered the most important trading partner.

Commercial relations between Thon Buri and China started with rice trading and later included local goods from the Taechew Clan such as ceremic wares, silk, pickled fruits and woven mats. On the return journey, the Chinese would load their ships with local Thai goods such as rice, spices, wood, tin and lead.

The record dating from 1777, the Tai Cheng dynasty in the forty-second year of Emperor Chien Lung's reign, states: "Important goods from Thailand are amber, gold, colored rocks, good nuggets, gold dust, semi-precious stones, and hard lead."

* Trade with Portugal In the Thon Buri period, there were some trade with the . Thai galleons travelled to Portuguese colony of Surat, in the Goa district of India. However, formal diplomatic relations were not formed.

* Trade with Britain Thon Buri's most important arms trading partner was Great Britain, whose center of operation was India. In the year 1776, Francis Light or Captain Lehk sent 1,400 flintlock guns along with other goods as gifts to King Taksin. Later, Thon Buri ordered some guns from England.

Royal letters were exchanged and in 1777, George Stratton, the Viceroy of Madras, sent a gold scrabbard decorated with gems to King Taksin.

* Trade with Holland In 1770, natives of Tranganu and Jakarta presented King Taksin with 2,200 shotguns. At that time, Holland controlled the Java Islands.

Foreign affairs

In the reign of Taksin, Relations with foreign countries were as follows:

* Cambodia When Ayutthaya fell to Burma in 1767, Cambodia, a Thai vassal state from Ayutthaya times, asserted its independence. Several expeditions had been sent to take Cambodia. In 1781 the king wanted to categorically annex Cambodia. His wish had not been realized when the reign came to an arrupt end.

* China
Relations between King Taksin and the Ching Dynasty can be divided into three periods according to time and situation:

1767-1770 : The Ching Dynasty refused to accept King Taksin's sovereignty due to a false report from Morsuelun of Bantaimat.

1770-1771 : The Ching Dynasty began to realize that Morsuelun's report was false
and began to change its attitude towards Taksin.

1771-1772 : Taksin's envoy was warmly received and given special support by the Ching court.

* Vietnam Thai and Vietnamese relations in the Thon Buri period could be divided into two stages. In the first stage Vietnam cultivated friendship with Thailand because it believed the Thais could help settle its internal problems. Later when Thailand had differences with Vietnam regarding Cambodia, relations between the two countries became so strained towards the end of the reign that they almost came to war.

* Nakhon Si Thammarat After taking Nakhon Si Thammarat in 1769, Taksin gave the administration back to the local authorities. He raised it to the status of a vassal state. Its governor held the rank of Chao Nakhon Si Thammarat, the equivalent of a king. The vassal state and Thon Buri were on very good terms throughout the reign.

* Burma During the first ten years of the Thon Buri period, Thailand and Burma were at war eight times. It can be said that Burma was Thon Buri sworn enemy.

* Malay States Major Malay provinces, namely Pattani, Sai Buri, Peris, Kelantan, and Trengganu had been Thai vassal states since the days of Sukhothai. When Ayutthaya fell, these states became independent. As Taksin was occupied with the war against Burma and the revival of the country, the Malay states were left free from Thai influence until the end of the reign.

* Lanna Major Lanna states, namely Chiang Mai, Lampang, Lamphun, Phrae, and Nan, governed themselves with their own princes. They were important strategically for both Thailand and Burma that the two nations vied for control these territories since Ayutthaya times.

* Laos At the time, Laos consisted of three states :- Luang Phrabang, Vientiane, and Champasak. Taksin exerted his influence over Laos twice. Troops were sent in 1776 to take Champasak, Khong and Attapeu. It also succeeded in persuading Cambodian jungle towns of Talung, Surin, Songkla, and Khukhan to acknowledge Thai sovereignty. Thus the whole of southern Laos came under Thai influence. A second expedition was sent in 1778 to take Vientiane. The Emerald Buddha and the Phra Bang were brought to Thon Buri. Luang Phrabang, which had conflicts with Vientiane, also pledged loyalty to the Thai monarch. Laos, therefore, became a Thai vassal state until the end of the reign.


Thon Buri was governed along the same line as Ayutthaya and the administration of the country was divided into three parts:

* Central Administration This was under the responsibility of ministers of the four departments that dealt with civic, palace, financial, and agricultural affairs.

* Provincial Administration Provinces in the kingdom were administered in two levels: those that were governed by central officials of the phraya rank and those that were vassal states.

* Manpower or Phrai Control of manpower, or phrai, was central to the administration of the country. The phrai system broke down when Ayutthaya fell to the Burmese. Titled officials took the opportunity to pass phrai luang off as their own men, depriving the country of labor and tax. King Taksin therefore, had the phrai system revived. He ordered that all phrai luang and phrai som have their wrist tattooed. This was the first time that men in every division and department were required to be tattooed.

Religious affairs

It should be noted that though the country was at war most of the time, King Taksin did not neglect his obligations regarding religious affairs. He was determined to restore Buddhism to its former glory from Ayutthaya times.

* Reorganization of Monastic Order As soon as he established Thon Buri as the capital, the king had the monastic order reorganized. Moreover, when he went north to suppress the Phra Fang faction, he could see that monks in the north were lax and undisciplined. He invited ecclesiastical dignitaries from the capital to teach those monks and brought them back in line with the main teachings of Buddhism.

* Manuscripts of Buddhist Sacred Writings The king assiduously searched for manuscripts of the Tripitaka that survived the fall of the capital to be copied and compiled as the royal version for the new capital. When he went to suppress the Chao Nakhon Si Thammarat faction in 1769, the king asked for a loan of the Tripitaka and had it transported by boat to be copied in Thon Buri. The following year when he went to Uttaradit to suppress Phra Fang faction, another version of the Tripitaka was brought to Thon Buri to be compared with that from Nakhon Si Thammarat, which was most useful in the revision of the Tripitaka in the next reign.Thailand,

* Reception of the Emerald Buddha When Vientiane was captured, the Emerald Buddha and the Phra Bang were brought to Thon Buri. The king ordered a grand procession of 246 boats to welcome them with himself at the head of the procession. They were enshrined at Wat Arun Ratchawararam, and the Emerald Buddha has since become the nation's holy symbol.

* Restoration of Temples The king spent a large part of his own money restoring several monasteries and made them royal temples, such as Wat Intharam, Wat Hong Ratanaram, and Wat Arun Ratchawaram.

* Promulgation of Monastic Discipline In 1773 Taksin promulgated a law on monastic daily routine in accordance with the Doctrine and the Discipline, this is considered the first Thai law concerning monks. Moreover, the king used Buddhist concepts as the basis for setting up social order at the time.

Literature and fine arts

Literary Works

Taksin's main mission was to unify the country and build a new capital. He therefore did not have enough time to fully revive literature. There are not many literary works from this period but a few that exist are of great value.

Dances and Drama

Taksin was also interested in other branches of art, including dance and drama. There is evidence that when he went to suppress the Chao Nakhon Si Thammarat faction in 1769, he brought back Chao Nakhon's female dancers. Together with dancers that he had assembled from other places, they trained and set up a royal troupe in Thon Buri on the Ayutthaya model. The King wrote four episodes from the Ramakian for the royal troupe to rehearse and perform.

Arts and Crafts

The most important work of art of the Thon Buri period is an illustrated manuscript book on the three worlds: Buddha's, Heaven and Hell. The King had it drawn up in 1776, following the content of ancient religious beliefs written in Thai old script called Tri Poom. It can be considered one of the biggest illustrated manuscript books in Thailand. When unfolded, the book is 34.72 meters long. There are paintings in color on both sides of the sheet done by four artists. At present the book is kept at the National Library, Tha Wasuki, Bangkok.


Taksin realized that there were very few craftsmen left in Thon Buri. He gathered skilled workmen together and revived all the arts and crafts, such as boat building, construction, decorating, and painting. Since these men were new apprentices and there was little time due to war, it is hard to find works of fine craftsmanship in this period. However, there are few exceptional pieces, among them the following:

Taksin's bed : located at Wat Intharam in Thon Buri.

A seat for meditation : located in the small wihara in front of the Prang of the temple of Dawn, in Thon Buri.

A black and gold lacquered cabinet : with the year indicating that it was made in Thon Buri period, located in the Vajirayan section of the National Library, Tha Wasukri, Bangkok.

Phra Racha Wang Derm : the Throne hall that Taksin used when he administered affairs of state. It is in the compound of the present headquarters of the Royal Thai Navy, near Temple of Dawn.

Economic and social welfare

Problem of Famine

When Taksin established Thon Buri as his capital, people were living in abject poverty, food and clothing were scarce. The king was well aware of the plight of his subjects. He therefore considered solving economic problems the main priority. He paid high price for rice with his own money to induce foreign traders to bring in adequate amount of basic necessities to satisfy the need of the people. He then distributed rice and clothing to all his starving subjects without exception. People that had been dispersed came back to their homes. Normalcy was restored. The economy of the country gradually recovered.

Transportation and Communication

Taksin had roads built during the cool season,which was free of war to facillitate travel, transportation of goods and communication. The King also promoted water transportation by speeding up the digging of a canal, Khlong Tha Kham, to provide facilities for cargo boats and naval vessels.

Sea Trade

After peace returned to the country, the king devoted his attention to reviving sea trade with foreign nations for revenues from boat taxes, tariffs and customs duties. The income was used in developing the country and help relieve the burden of tax on the people to a large extent.

Thon Buri money

In the Thon Buri period, bullet coins or Pod Duang were made from pure silver and were of the same weight and value as those of the Pre Sukhothai, Sukhothai and Ayutthaya period. The coins remained in use up to the reign of King Rama IV in the Rattanakosin period. The enblem of the current reign was stamped in front and the symbol of sovereignty, the Chakra, the representation of the God Narai of the Brahmin Sect, was stamped on top of the coin.

The Thon Buri bullet coins carried King Taksin's royal emblem which was the Trisul or Tri, a trident which was the weapon of the God Issawara and Tawiwuth-a two pronged fork framed by a cordial shape. The symbol of power of that period was still the Chakra.


With the Burmese threat still prevalent, a strong ruler was needed on the throne. Due to some sources, many oppressions and abuses made by officials were reported. King Taksin punished them harshly, some high officials were even tortured and exucuted. This might cause discontent among officials. Finally a group of powerful officials, led by Phraya San, seized the capital and forced the king to step down.

King Taksin was declared insane and a coup d'état removed him from the throne in March 1782. Although he requested to be allowed to join the monkhood, the deposed king was executed shortly after the coup on April 7, 1782, along with some of his loyal followers, including Phraya Pichai, within the next few days. He was sealed in a velvet sack and was beaten to death with a scented sandalwood club, in accordance with the ancient tradition that no royal blood should touch the ground. His execution was viewed as necessary in order to prevent the former king's becoming the center of a possible revolt against his successor, the 'tradition' usually happened in Ayutthaya Kingdom.

Another account claimed that Taksin was secretly sent to a palace located in the remote mountains of Nakhon Si Thammarat where he lived until 1825, and that a substitute was arranged and beaten to death in his place.

When the coup occurred, General was away fighting in Cambodia, but he quickly returned to the Thai capital. When he arrived in Thonburi, the rebels surrendered and offered Chakri the throne. Another view of the events is that General Chakri actually wanted to be King and had accused King Taksin of being Chinese; however, this overlooks the fact that Chao Phraya Chakri was himself of partly Chinese origin as well as he himself being married to one of Taksin's daughters. However, prior to returning to Thonburi, Chao Phraya Chakri had Taksin's son summoned to Cambodia and executed.


In 1981 the Thai cabinet passed a resolution to bestow on King Taksin the honorary title of ''the Great''. The date of his coronation, December 28, is the official day of homage to King Taksin, although it is not designated as a public holiday. The Maw Sukha Association on January 31, 1999 cast the ''King Taksin Savior of the Nation Amulet'', which sought to honour the contributions of King Taksin to Siam during his reign.

The monarch remains a favorite of Thai Chinese, and is referred to as the King of Thonburi. Taksin's equestrian statue stands in the middle of Wongwien Yai in Thonburi, and is a well known Bangkok landmark.


* The Na Nakhon family is descended from King Taksin.

* Due to the ancient views of medicine and the human mind at the time, King Taksin's peculiar behaviors were often described as madness. With the advent of modern views of the human mind and psychology, many modern historians now believe the symptoms that were recorded in historical records more closely resembles signs of a midlife crisis.

Stefanie Sun

Stefanie Sun and also known in as Sng Yì-che or Sng Ee Tze , is a Singaporean singer-songwriter. She has sold over 10 million copies of her albums during the span of her career thus far.


Stefanie Sun has an elder sister by three years called Sng Yee-kia , and a younger sister by six years named Sng Ee-mei .

Sun was educated at , and went on to attend Saint Andrew's Junior College. She later attended Nanyang Technological University, where she obtained a degree in Marketing. Her abilities were discovered by her music teacher, Lee Wei Song, at his music school.

In the -speaking world, Sun is more popularly known by her Mandarin name, Sun Yanzi or Sun Yan Zi. Stefanie Sun has sold over 10 million copies in Asia. With ten albums to her name, she is arguably the most popular Mandarin female singer in Asia and the most successful singer from Singapore.


Most of her songs are sung in Mandarin, with a few in . Sun's ability to speak various dialects is reflected in the songs she sings.

In the song "Cloudy Day" , she sings in both Mandarin and Teochew. It is an adaptation of a traditional Teochew folk song that included the first six words in the original Teochew- ''Thi?-o?-o?, beh lo?h-hō?'' - in the chorus.

The album '''' contains 6 songs in English: of "Venus", "That I Will Be Good", "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough", "Silent All These Years", and "Hey Jude"; and the original song "Someone".

Recording career

Sun does most of her recording, and conducts most of her publicity events, in Taiwan, which comprises her largest audience. She also visits China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore frequently for promotional rounds where she is warmly received.

Her first album was released in June 2000, the self-titled '''' , published by Warner Music. "Yan Zi" album sold over 330 000 copies alone in Taiwan. This was followed in December of the same year by ''My Desired Happiness'' . Which have also sold over 380 000 copies in Taiwan alone. Both albums achieved commercial success by having each sold over 1 000 000 copies in China.

Her third album was released in Early 2001, titled "Kite". This album had sold successfully with 300 000 copies in Taiwan; also over 950 000 copies in China.

January 2002 saw the release of '''' , a collection of songs, many of which are cover versions. "Start" sold over 250 000 copies in Taiwan alone in less than a month. It reached high commercial success in Mainland China with over 1 000 000 copies sold.

In 2002 and 2003 Sun sang the official theme songs for Singapore's National Day Parade: "We Will Get There" and "One United People" . The former was included on the album ''''.

In early 2003, she released her fourth album titled, "To Be Continued..." which was also met with commercial success. It managed to sell over 250 000 copies in Taiwan and over 1 000 000 in China. Few months later, she released her seventh album with six new songs mixed with fifteen of her old songs. By the end of 2003, Stefanie Sun had sold over 7 000 000 copies in Asia with just seven albums.

In late 2003, she decided to take a one-year hiatus from making music, believing that she needs to recover her lost sense of direction in her career. She returned in late 2004 with a new album titled ''Stefanie'', intended to be a mirror of her debut album . This was to symbolise her return with a fresh attitude. This album was well received by the critics in the Chinese music industry. This album sold over 2 300 000 copies in Asia; making it the most successful album from her. She also started her own company, Make Music, during this sabbatical.

'''' was released on 2005, almost one year later.
Reviews of this new album have been mixed, but Sun had mentioned before that her priority is to make quality music, instead of over-commercialized products that sell well but have a lower level of artistic quality. Though this album did not reach the best commercial success, it had still managed to sell over 1 000 000 copies in Asia.

In 2006, Sun was in the midst of a regional concert tour. She has staged four full-house concerts at the renowned Hong Kong Coliseum. The performances have received positive reviews from the media as well as overwhelming support from fans. Sun also returned to Singapore in a much-anticipated homecoming concert. Yet, not all is smooth-sailing for her. At the Golden Melody Award 2006 in Taiwan, whilst performing renditions of other male singers' songs, she went off-key and was heavily lambasted in the Chinese pop media, which reported that she has shattered her image of a pop diva with great singing skills. She attributed it to factors like not enough rest, jet lag, inadequate time for sufficient practice etc.

Sun's first album under the Capitol brand is entitled Against The Light and has been released on 22 March 2007. Her decision to leave Warner after 9 albums was partly due to music executive Sam Chen, who now works at EMI. He had collaborated with Sun on 8 of her 9 albums.

On February 26, 2007, Stefanie Sun returned from Cairo where she and her team were extorted by suspected local gangsters. Sun was in Egypt to shoot a music video for her new album. Two men disguised as government officials followed her and the crew and asked for money—at one point even showing a handgun. The crew tried calling the police, only for the two crooks to dismiss them with just a few words. The crew had to hand over a total of over 200,000 yuan in order to continue shooting. The extortion went on for four days. Finally, Sun and her team were able to leave the country with the help of the Singapore embassy. Upon returning home, the pop diva said nothing except that she was tired and needed some rest.

Stefanie Sun's 10th album, Against The Light, has been a major success in Asia. In Taiwan, it sold over 60,000 copies in the first 3 days it was released. In addition, over 500,000 copies were sold within a week in Mainland China. So far, Sun has been the number one spot in Taiwanese music charts for six weeks.

In 2007, Stefanie Sun sang the offcial theme song for ASEAN's 40th anniversary celebrations: Rise Again.

In 2008, Stefanie Sun will continue her music journey, with collaboration with other famous singers like JJ lin.


Sun collaborated with Japanese singer Mai Kuraki on the last track of Sun's album ''To Be Continued...''. They collaborated again on Mai Kuraki's ''If I Believe'', released in July 2003.

Sun also sang with fellow Singaporean singer, Tanya Chua, the song "Original Point " in Tanya's album, Amphibian.

In the song "First Day", from the album '''', she sings with the popular Taiwanese musicians and F.I.R., forming a one time band called First Day , with FIR coming from F.I.R., ST coming from the first two letters in Sun Yan Zi's English name Stefanie and Day coming from MayDay. Sun had previously worked with MayDay on a song from their album "Time Machine".

She collaborated with singers Wang Leehom, Jane Zhang, and Wang Feng to record the theme song of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games: Light the Passion, Share the Dream .


Awards and accolades

Sun is regarded as one of the most accomplished local artists in her native homeland, Singapore, partly linked with her central role in two National Day theme songs.

She has won over 33 awards and other accolades for her music in the course of her career in Singapore, Taiwan, mainland China and Hong Kong.

She was also awarded the outstanding young alumni award in 2005. She also received the World's Young Woman Achiever Award.

In 2007, she was awarded the Singapore Youth Award for her outstanding achievements in the music scene, and her contributions to the local and international community.


She has just recently taken an offer to guest star in the movie "12 Lotus" . She will be acting as Guan Yin, who sang hokkien song and a poem in Hokkien as well.

Sophie Leung

Sophie Leung Lau Yau Fun, , is a member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, representing the Textiles and Garment functional constituency.

Formerly a member of the , she resigned in October 2008, along with Jeffrey Lam and Andrew Leung, saying they had not been able to communicate with the party, and were dissatisfied with its handling of the aftermath of its poor showing in the . The three, who constituted half of the party's representation in Legco, refused to rule out forming a new party together.

She works as a in her garment company. She is married to Brian Leung Hung Tak, chairman of the Hong Kong Football Association.


Shing-Tung Yau

Shing-Tung Yau is a Chinese American mathematician working in differential geometry, and involved in the theory of Calabi-Yau manifolds.


Yau was born in Shantou, Guangdong Province, China with an ancestry in Jiaoling in a family of eight children.When Yau was fourteen his father, a philosophy professor, died. Yau moved to Hong Kong with his family where, after graduating from , he studied mathematics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong from 1966 to 1969. He undertook graduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley, where his advisor was Shiing-Shen Chern. After receiving his Ph.D. in Mathematics in 1971, he spent a post-doctoral year at the Institute for Advanced Study. He then spent two years as an assistant professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

In 1974 he was appointed a professor at Stanford University. In 1976 he proved on a class of manifolds now named Calabi-Yau manifolds, which has now become the geometric ground where physicists build their string theory. He returned to the Institute for Advanced Study as a professor in 1979. In that year, together with his former doctoral student Richard Schoen, he proved the positive energy theorem in general relativity. From 1984 to 1987 he was a professor at . In 1987 he moved to Harvard University, where he remains. Yau has served as the chair of the Harvard mathematics department since 2008.

His revolutionary use of the methods of partial differential equations in the area of differential geometry has had a lasting impact on geometry.

Educational and research activities

Yau is renowned as an energetic teacher and educator. He has advised more than 50 PhD students, with many of them receiving professorships. His book with Richard M. Schoen, ''Lectures on Differential Geometry'', is a popular text for students of differential geometry and geometric analysis. In other works, he has collected hundreds of unsolved problems in geometry and topology. In the 1990s, Kefeng Liu,Bong Lian and Yau wrote a series of papers on the mirror conjecture and its generalizations. During 2005, Kefeng Liu,Xiaofeng Sun and Yau systematically studied the geometric aspects of the moduli space of Riemann Surfaces, and they proved that many known metrics on the moduli space are equivalent to one metric, which is now called the Liu-Sun-Yau metric. This theorem was conjectured by Yau much earlier.

Yau has devoted much of his time to the development of mathematics in China. He is the founder of Morningside Center of Mathematics in Beijing and in Zhejiang University. From August 2002, Yau and his colleagues organized conferences, workshops and summer schools in Zhejiang University. In the summer of 2004, Yau was chief organizer of the International Conference in Memory of Armand Borel, held in Hangzhou.

Yau was chief organizer of Strings 2006, an international physics conference on string theory, held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Among the lecturers was physicist Stephen Hawking, a long time friend of Yau.

Yau has recently been highly active in alleging widespread academic in , particularly concerning the mathematics field.

Honours and awards

Yau has received a number of awards. These include the Fields Medal in 1982 "for his contributions to partial differential equations, to the Calabi conjecture in algebraic geometry, to the of general relativity theory, and to real and complex Monge-Ampère equations", a MacArthur Fellowship in 1984, the Crafoord Prize in 1994, and the National Medal of Science in 1997.


His name is according to its pronunciation in Standard Cantonese. He loves traditional Chinese literature, and he has written many Chinese poems.

Poincaré conjecture debates

In August 2006, a '''' article on the Poincaré conjecture, "", discussed Yau's relationship to that famous problem.
Yau claims this article is , and in September 2006 he established a public relations website, managed by the PR firm Spector and Associates, to dispute points in it and demand an apology. As of April 05, 2007, fifteen mathematics professors, including two quoted in the ''New Yorker'' article, have posted letters of support on Yau's website. The ''New Yorker'' reportedly stands by its article.

On October 17, 2006, a more sympathetic profile of Yau appeared, along with photographs from different stages of his life, in the ''''. After recounting Yau's humble beginnings and rise to academic stardom, it devotes about half its length to the affair. The article acknowledges that Yau's egotism and high-profile activities, including criticism of Chinese academia, have alienated some of his colleagues and that Yau's promotion of the Cao-Zhu paper "annoyed many mathematicians, who felt that Dr. Yau had slighted Dr. Perelman." It paints Yau as ultimately more concerned with the development of mathematics than with his reputation. In regards to the Perelman affair, the article focuses on Yau's position, which is that Perelman's proof was not understood by all, and he "had a duty to dig out the truth of the proof."

Richard Li

Richard Li Tzar Kai is a Canadian-Chinese businessman based in Hong Kong. He is chairman and executive director of and Pacific Century Group in Hong Kong, chairman of Singapore-based Pacific Century Regional Developments Limited, and a non-executive director of the Bank of East Asia. He is the younger son of successful entrepreneur Li Ka-Shing and brother of Victor Li.


Richard Li was born on 8 November 1966 in Hong Kong. Rather than enter into his father's business, Richard Li entered into the media business . He cut his deal-making teeth building STAR TV into Asia's first satellite broadcasting service with a loan from his father, Asia's richest man Li Ka-shing. He then sold it to global media tycoon Rupert Murdoch's News Corp for US$950 million in 1995 and turned his attention to the Internet.

He sparked a frenzied buying spree for Hong Kong technology stocks in April 1999 when he announced he would turn sleepy telecommunications equipment distributor "Tricom Holdings" into Asia's premier Internet company under the name PCCW. The stock had recorded a 1,286 percent gain in a single day.

He bought Cable & Wireless HKT in 2000. On August 2000, Li was seen as a saviour when his flagship PCCW outbid rival Singapore Telecommunications for HKT in a US$28.5 billion deal, Asia's largest corporate takeover, he was dubbed "Superboy" by the local media. However, as local euphoria surrounding HKT's takeover waned and global tech and telecom shares tanked, shareholders' praise soon turned to criticism.

Li suffered embarrassment in March 2001 when a newspaper revealed he attended but did not finish his degree at Stanford University, contrary to PCCW's claims.

He endured another setback on February 2003 when PCCW made an approach to acquire Britain's Cable & Wireless, which was rebuffed. PCCW later denied making a formal offer, which has led to an investigation by the Hong Kong stock exchange. The company was later cleared mainly due to insufficiency of evidence.

Li gave up his spot as PCCW's chief executive officer on July 25, 2003 but remains as chairman and executive director. Jack So, who left his chairman position at Hong Kong subway operator , took up the job of group managing director of PCCW.

In August 2006 Li paid HKD$280 million for a 50% stake in business paper Hong Kong Economic Journal. Li promised no changes to the editorial content nor layoffs in the short term.


Besides his business duties, Li is a member of various non-governmental organizations:

* Governor of the World Economic Forum for Information Technologies and Telecommunications
* Member of the Center for Strategic and International Studies International Councillors' Group in Washington DC
* Member of the International Advisory Board of the Center for International Development at Harvard University.
* Member of the Global Information Infrastructure Commission and the United Nations Information and Communication Technology Advisory Group.

Rayson Huang

Rayson Huang , a chemist , expertise at Chemistry on . He was the first Chinese Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hong Kong from 1972 to 1986 .

Curriculum Vitae

Shantou, Guangdong native. He completed primary and secondary education in Munsang College, where his father was the founding principal . Originally St. John's University in Shanghai in 1937 to study, but Japan's launch of the Marco Polo Bridge Incident broke out, after 1938 and got a scholarship student at the University of Hong Kong, majoring in chemistry, hostel is St. John's Hall , active in student activities at school, in particular, played the violin good. Japanese invasion of Hong Kong in 1941, had a brief Rayson Huang participated in the British auxiliary forces responsible for detecting chemical weapons. 1942, the eve of Hong Kong awarded the wartime Japanese occupation of Hong Kong graduate, and then immediately closed the University of Hong Kong. Rayson Huang visited the mainland in 1942, arrived in Guangxi, a university chemistry department teaching assistants has been transferred to Britain in 1945 after the retrocession of scholarships to study at Oxford University Institute of Chemistry, doctorate in chemistry after three years, then in 1948 to pursue post-doctoral research in the University of Chicago. During his study in Chicago, he knew his wife Grace Wei Huang and finally married with her.

Starting in 1951, Rayson Huang taught chemistry in the University of Malaya in Singapore, which is now called National University of Singapore. Then in 1959, he transferred to University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, he was promoted to be a professor of chemistry, the Acting Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Science Faculty. Singaporean Nanyang University even appointed him as the Vice-Chancellor in 1969.

In 1972, Rayson Huang became the first Chinese Vice-chancellor of University of Hong Kong uring which students with good relations Royal Visit students demonstrators storm had subsided. In addition, he served in various capacities including becoming a member of the Basic Law Drafting Committee. Rayson Huang and his wife retired in 1994 after the son went to live with.

In 1999, once they return, his wife, Wei suffering from senile dementia, in the campus lost 1:00, suddenly disappeared, been kept to the rear at the University of Hong Kong

A few months later discovered his body, the suspect was put to death because of falling unemployment falling Hill.

To commemorate his wife, Rayson Huang has set up ''Grace Wei Huang Memorial Fund''. and has written a book on memoirs, ''A Lifetime in Academia: An autobiography by Rayson Huang'', which will be set aside for the fund.

Rayson has a wide range of hobbies, one of the most special is studying violin making. He now still return to Hong Kong regularly. Progress of Hong Kong's Rayson Huang, in his very name, and Malaysia established with the contribution of the chemical "Rayson Huang Foundation."