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About K. Wah

Letter from the Chairman

“LUI Che Woo Prize” advancing world civilisation and building the harmonious future

Dec 2019

Dear Colleagues,

This year, we proudly presented the fourth edition of the “LUI Che Woo Prize - Prize for World Civilisation”, a brainchild conceived in association with some old friends on the basis of my belief in “lasting serenity and shared harmony” and aimed at encouraging the pursuit of inner peace and harmony, as well as sharing of the world’s resources without regard to racial or interpersonal differences. Over the past three years, we were able to award the prizes to nine well-deserving laureates. Thanks to the hard work of the Board of Governors and members of the three-tier structure, the Prize has garnered increasing public recognition both at home and abroad and is well-poised for further success.

Precious gifts from nature, such as water, land and other resources which are fundamental to the survival of all creatures, are at risk due to excessive exploitation. Thankfully, people engaged in conservancy of nature have been working with incessant effort to safeguard clean land and water resources for the benefit of mankind. The Nature Conservancy (TNC), laureate of the “Sustainability Prize” for 2019, aims to “conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends”. By engaging various parties, communities, governmental bodies and private companies, TNC tackles some of the most pressing environmental issues, including climate change, water supply and food shortage. Through top-notch innovations in science and technology as well as ground-breaking collaborations, TNC is committed to achieving lasting results in conservancy work conducive to the world’s sustainable development. After decades of relentless effort, TNC is now a world-leading organisation in nature conservancy well recognised for the effectiveness of its work and its international influence.

The treatment and prevention of diseases has always been a perennial concern for humanity. This year’s “Welfare Betterment Prize” went to Dr Jennifer A. Doudna. Dr Doudna is a U.S. biochemist and the co-inventor ofCRISPR-Cas9. CRISPR-Cas9 is a revolutionary genome- editing technology which is more efficient, cheaper, and more accurate than all previous gene- editing technologies. It gives rise to more possibilities in applications, giving hope to millions worldwide as scientists explore its application in the treatment of a wide variety of diseases. CRISPR-Cas9 can also help engineer crops with climate change-resisting properties and better nutritional value, offering vast possibilities in potential applications with profound impact that would contribute to the betterment of the welfare of mankind.

A champion of the challenging but meaningful task of preserving our nation’s formidable cultural heritage, Ms Fan Jinshi, affectionately known as the “Daughter of Dunhuang”, is a well-deserved recipient of the “Positive Energy Prize”. She was awarded in recognition of her achievements in the research and preservation of the 1,600-year-old Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes, which also underline a fine effort in exhibiting Chinese culture to the world. As one of the few women in the archaeological community, Ms Fan’s 56-year dedicated efforts underpinned by her persistence amidst countless challenges in social, cultural and economic terms, has resulted in a significant enhancement in public awareness of the culture and history of the Mogao Grottoes. Ms Fan has also set a new benchmark for cultural preservation with the launch of the “Digital Dunhuang” programme, which is designed to recapture the art of the Mogao Grottoes with the aid of modern technology. Ms Fan’s admirable perseverance and commitment have become a source of positive energy that continues to inspire people around her.

Over the past four years, I have been committed to the promotion of the values underlining the “LUI Che Woo Prize”. Today, we are witnessing conflicts and disagreements among nations and among individuals, which can only be resolved i f we adopt an accommodative approach and treat others with kindness. As the saying goes: “He who tries to force his way through anticipates endless troubles; but he who is willing to take a step back sees a broad new world open to him.” With a peaceful mind, tolerance and understanding, we can aspire to lasting peace and harmony. In closing, I hope the esteemed members of our community will continue to support the “LUI Che Woo Prize” so that we can all work together to contribute to the progress of world civilisation.

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