HK to launch more quasi-Nobels

Today is Shaw Prize presentation day. Nasa scientist William Borucki will pick up the award for astronomy at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, along with winners in the life sciences and mathematics categories. The ‘Chinese Nobel’, as it is sometimes called, was founded by late movie mogul Sir Run Run Shaw. What it lacks in stature compared with the venerable European institution it at least partly makes up for with generous cash prizes for the laureates.

Yet by coincidence – or possibly not – a second Hong Kong-funded Nobel-type award will be launched today, just next door at the Grand Hyatt. This will be the Lui Che Woo Prize for World Civilization, named after himself in all modesty by property and casino tycoon Lui Che-woo. (No website, but his lawyers have copyrighted the name, so don’t you dare go pirating T-shirts.)

Apart from his flat cap and the Hong Kong K Wah construction company, Lui is best LuiCheWooknown for the Galaxy casino empire in Macau. They have obviously been affected by Beijing’s ongoing clampdowns on corruption, capital flight and all the rest – with profits for first-half 2015 down 43%. Recent action against the sleazy junket money-lenders suggests Macau’s booming ‘gaming’ industry (money-laundering, loan-sharking, triads, hookers, migrant labour and grotesque architecture) has peaked and is sinking back into the slime. So Lui could use something to cheer himself up, and what better, at age 85, than something that links his name for posterity with ‘advancing civilization’ and ‘the betterment and welfare of mankind’?

The media invite…


CondieWah, so high-class lah! One of the prestigious deeply rooted international experts in attendance will be former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Why Condie? Or maybe I should put it ‘Why, Condie?’ I would hate to think she’s hard up. I’m sure there’s a good reason.

Secretary for Financial Services KC Chan will represent the Hong Kong government – his boss the Financial Secretary, and his boss the Chief Executive, apparently being otherwise engaged, unfortunately.

CY does make it to the Shaw one. Notwithstanding that, it will be interesting to see how our tycoon media-owners’ news outlets manage their coverage of the rival Shaw and Lui quasi-Nobel events. While one grandee is dead and the other getting on, there are younger generations to shoe-shine and both dynasties have potentially useful historic or current Mainland connections. It’s not that pre-emptive kowtowing will bring any obvious benefits, just that nagging doubt about what unpleasantness could conceivably happen if you fail to show due obsequiousness. But how to divide the relative groveling between the two? It’s the sort of worry that keeps newspaper-owning tycoons up at night.


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11 Responses to HK to launch more quasi-Nobels

  1. old git says:

    English grammar isn’t what it used to be. That vain invitation to the press is just dreadfully expressed. It has poorly constructed sentences and ends with “ the occasion.”.

    A Prize for Articulate Expression would be more useful to society than a fanciful vanity.

  2. Big Al says:

    “It’s not that pre-emptive kowtowing will bring any obvious benefits, just that nagging doubt about what unpleasantness could conceivably happen if you fail to show due obsequiousness”. Brilliant! That’s the nub of it, but given that the two events are next door to each other, it is certainly possible that the shoe shiners will be able to attend both events at once by repeated use of the phrase “I’m just popping out for a shit” and then running back and forth between the two venues. See, not that difficult!

    Now that we have not one but TWO locally issued world-class prizes, I hope those hard working scientists and marketing executives at Laboratoires Garnier, or similar geniuses (geniuii??) elsewhere, will receive just recognition and reward for their outstanding work on achieving human immortality through a selection of attractively packaged anti-wrinkle face creams. You can’t advance civilisation more than that!

  3. Joe Blow says:

    It seems that you have all forgotten about Nury’s “Asian” Nobel Prize for Literature.

  4. LRE says:

    Nice to see “Dr” Lui keeping it classy straight off the bat by getting a war criminal to help judge / award prizes for “advancing civilization”. Quite the Nobel feel. Still, at least she’s a female war criminal.

  5. old git says:

    William Boruckian theory has it that we are alone in a cold and alien universe. This is because we have never detected any communications from aliens.

    This theory overlooks the implication that no alien in its right mind or minds would dream or think or conceptualise communication with a bunch of nutters, such as are we.

  6. Chinese Netizen says:

    @LRE: Not to mention, “African-American” as well. Many birds felled with one stone…

  7. RSG says:

    Don’t forget China’s Confucius Peace Prize.

  8. Nimby says:

    If you can get Bill Clinton or a Rodnam for US$100,000, a Junior league Bush for US$80,000; then how much do you think a Condie goes for? Henry K. has sold out the USA so many time for so little money it’s depressed the price in China for all the other neo-con/neo-lib whores; I bet you’d be shocked how cheep Condie comes, and what services she provides for so little money.

  9. Nimby says:

    “No Higher Honour”… Yes, that about sums up leaky Condom Condie.

  10. LRE says:

    @ Chinese netizen

    Such a meaningless term — on a long enough timeline all Americans are African-American.

  11. @LRE – don’t tell the Chinese they are all African-Chinese on a long enough timeline, or they’ll be drawing a new Nine-Dash Line that takes in all of Africa as well.

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