HONG LEONG PROFESSORSHIP IN OPHTHALMOLOGY (2000)
In 1928, a young man arrived in Singapore from China, carrying nothing but a mat and a quilt. He started working at a hardware store, improving his reading and writing in the evenings. His future was unclear, but he knew that better education would help him succeed in life. Thirteen years on, Mr Kwek Hong Png had set up Hong Leong, which is today one of Asia’s largest conglomerates.
A daring entrepreneur, Mr Kwek Hong Png navigated the economic swells and eddies with spectacular success. Since then, the second generation of the Kwek family has further grown the business. Today, Hong Leong Singapore has gross assets of over $40 billion.
The group’s core businesses are in real estate, hospitality, financial services, trading and manufacturing.
Mr Kwek Hong Png established Hong Leong Foundation in 1980 on the belief in “giving back to society what one has gained from it”. The Foundation fosters education, helps the needy elderly (including making annual cash gifts), and is a long-time supporter of heritage and the arts.
The group’s community consciousness is also seen in the Hong Leong-National Kidney Foundation Dialysis Centre, their support of the Young Entrepreneurs Programme, as well as green initiatives.
On Mr Kwek’s 80th birthday in 1991, Hong Leong Group made a gift to support ophthalmology teaching and research. NUS established the Hong Leong Professorship in Ophthalmology to honour his spirit of philanthropy and the social awareness of the company he founded. This gift has allowed the University to invite distinguished experts in a wide variety of eye diseases to share their expertise with the Singapore ophthalmology community. It has also supported research and clinical services in diverse fields such as myopia, glaucoma, age-related macular disease, diabetic eye disease and ocular oncology.