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About K. Wah

Letter from Chairman

Dr Lui Che-woo
Dr Lui Che-woo Chairman of K. Wah Group

The LUI Che Woo Prize - towards a better world and the promotion of world civilisation

Oct 2018

Dear Colleagues,

This year, we hosted the third edition of the “LUI Che Woo Prize - Prize for World Civilisation”. I founded this prize four years ago with the aim to recognise individuals and groups which pioneer in the promotion of sustainability, provide role models for the welfare for mankind, and excel in generating positive energy to inspire others. I am happy that different sectors across the community have shown strong support for the previous two editions, and I am grateful to the persistent efforts of my colleagues at the Prize Council, the Prize Recommendation Committee and the Selection Panels to lay the foundation on which success has been achieved.

In the past year, we continued to face longstanding issues such as natural disasters, wealth gap, and the trend of anti-globalisation, resulting in pain and distress for many. A number of extremely powerful typhoons have battered different parts of the world causing significant damages, including Typhoon Mangkhut, which has brought to Hong Kong people an up-close experience of the devastating effects of natural disasters, destroying tens of thousands of trees and causing damages to buildings, though luckily not any fatality. Nevertheless, the impact of climate change has never been more evident.

On another front, the China-US trade war which we have been deeply concerned with has affected Hong Kong’s GDP, entrepot trade and industry chains to various extents and clouded Hong Kong’s economic prospects with uncertainty. Despite the difficult situation, people and groups of goodwill have become more determined to pursue their causes against all odds. This year’s laureates for the “LUI Che Woo Prize” share one common vision: “to contribute one’s modest effort towards the building of a better world and the promotion of world civilisation.”

Knowledge holds the key to changing one’s destiny. This year’s laureate for the Positive Energy Prize is the Pratham Education Foundation of India. Started at the impoverished slums of Mumbai, the Foundation has been focusing on high-quality and low-cost projects based on empirical approaches to address gaps in the education system for the past 23 years and improve the quality of education and teaching. Today, it has developed a nationwide presence in India, helping one million children to acquire basic reading, writing and arithmetic skills each year and its education model has been replicated in 16 countries. Their effort has contributed to a firmer foundation for our civilisation.

Global warming has resulted in ecological disasters across the globe recently. This year’s laureate for the Welfare Betterment Prize is the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). With firm commitment to its mission, WMO has worked incessantly over the past 50 years or more to drive cooperation among 191 member states and territories, formulating relevant standards and supervising policy implementation to improve global monitoring, forecast and communication and to enhance members’ ability in predicting disasters, issuing forecasts and warnings, so that all can prepare in a timely manner. The organisation has done an effective task in improving the welfare of humanity.

Reduction of carbon emission and development of renewable energy is a globally acknowledged objective. Mr. Hans-Josef Fell of Germany, laureate for this year’s Sustainability Prize, founded the first energy community worldwide to produce solar electricity in 1994 and jointly authored the draft and fought for the adoption by the German Parliament of the Renewable Energy Sources Act in 2000. Since then, the model of providing price subsidies to suppliers to lower their development cost through the collection of the renewable energy surcharge has been replicated in more than one hundred regions. Mr. Fell made sustainable energy development sustainable, he has been actively promoting 100% renewable energy worldwide.

In addition to promoting positive energy, the “LUI Che Woo Prize” provides an open and pluralistic platform for dialogue, exchange and cooperation in a global setting, procuring investigation into pressing issues and encouraging mutual understanding, so that difficulties can be addressed, conflicts can be avoided, and the environment and resources can be shared for all.

I would also like to call on esteemed members of the society to give more support to the “LUI Che Woo Prize” and its laureates, so that the positive ideas and deeds can reach out across more regions and a broader range of disciplines. In future, the “LUI Che Woo Prize” will continue to develop steadily. From next year onwards, no specific areas of concern will be named, such that the scope of work covered by each prize category will be broadened and more individuals and groups which have made significant contributions in different areas will have the chance to get the recognition they deserve.

Dr Lui Che-woo GBS, MBE, JP, LLD, DSSc, DBA,
Chairman and Founder of K. Wah Group