As a real estate tycoon, Li Ka-shing is concerned about Hong Kong’s current real estate market, as well as Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s authority over Hong Kong. A point he keeps pushing is that choosing where you invest is highly important, as there must be stable law and order in that country to protect investors—a hint for Leung perhaps.
Li told the Southern Metropolis Daily (SMD) that there are many opportunities in the world to invest in, but it’s essential to choose investments in a place where the rule of law endures. Only in such a place are the stockholders’ rights and interests legitimatized.
“In a healthy society… the government should be able to act fairly and justly on the basis of law and order. Hong Kong shouldn’t be ‘ruled by men,’ nor exercise the government’s power selectively,” Li said in his interview with SMD.
Li said: “The key is to assure business leaders that policies and principles won’t be shifted or affected by a change in who leads the government. Otherwise, investors will hesitate to come.”
“I’m not invincible. I cannot predict political changes, nor do I have the power to influence politics. I can only do whatever I can to protect the stockholders’ interests. They trust me.”
Full of confidence for Chinese society’s future
Hong Kong’s system of law seems to have regressed since the reunification with China. The current phenomenon of “ruled by men,” as opposed to “ruled by law,” makes the place disordered; so many business people have emigrated to North America or Taiwan.
The 85-year-old plutocrat said that he won’t move his business out of Hong Kong, but he will take the size of his business there into account.
“I see millions of Chinese students go abroad to further their educations. I’m very confident in the future of Chinese society. I believe that ‘knowledge changes destiny.’ This is also the reason why I donate to and invest in Shantou University—to ensure a devotion to education,” he said in the SMD report.
“I also believe that accomplishment minus the pursuit of fame is a higher standard to live by. To that end, I encourage the students of Shantou University Medicinal College in that if they can succeed, I promise to build more hospices for them to provide free care to cancer victims.”
“With the understanding of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, it’s clear that life is short. Therefore, we should focus our time on the right things. When I see positive results after hard work, it’s really something worth celebrating.”
The interview with Li Ka-shing has garnered a lot of attention in Hong Kong, as well as the media world. Anson Chan Fang On-sang, an independent pro-democracy member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, expressed her admiration for Li’s interview. She said that the most important principle of managing Hong Kong is to be ruled by law and order, not men, and that Leung’s team should stay cognizant of that.