21st Anniversary Of The Handover (July 1, 2017): I Left Part Of My ❤️ In Hong Kong.

by Patrick Liew on August 27, 2018

21st Anniversary Of The Handover (July 1, 2017): I Left Part Of My ❤️ In Hong Kong.

On May 29, 2017, when the plane landed at the Hong Kong International Airport, I could feel my heart softening again.

Hong Kong brought back heart-warming and deep-seated memories.

Memories that I’ll never forget for the rest of my life.

Words cannot express how much I love Hong Kong, a city that has taught me many lessons in life.

In 1976, I interned with a youth organisation in Hong Kong with the intention of learning how to be a social worker.

Growing up in a poor family, I wanted to devote my life to helping others so that they can have a fair chance to do well in life.

To cover my expenses, some of my friends pooled their savings and sold old newspapers to raise funds for me.

They believed in me and worked very hard to let me go on that life-changing trip.

Many of them have moved on with their lives and their whereabouts were unknown to me until today. I am eternally grateful to them.

After completing my studies, I applied and got a job as a social worker.

Then, life played what I thought was a cruel joke on me but it turned out to be one of the best gifts in my life.

Just before I started work, the director who interviewed me and promised to guide me stepped down from the organization.

After seeking wise counsel, I decided to go out to the “cold and cruel” business world.

At least, that was what I thought business would be but it turned out to be the most meaningful, fun and fulfilling experience.

Since stepping into the business world, I have had the chance to go back to Hong Kong on many occasions.

Each time, I’m inspired by the Hong Kong people’s spirit of entrepreneurship, diligence, and drive to succeed.

It’s their passion to do well that should be a model for many people and countries that wants to achieve progress and prosperity.

In 1995, my company organised one of the biggest personal development seminars in Hong Kong.

It was held at the Hong Kong Coliseum, with a a total seating capacity of 12,500 people.

That stadium was known predominantly for sports and mega events and for leisure and entertainment.

Since then, I’m not too sure if there was another company that was able to run a training programme in that stadium.

On July 1, 1997, I made it a point to fly into Hong Kong to watch the Handover Ceremony.

That ceremony was an internationally televised event that officially marked the return of Hong Kong’s sovereignty from the United Kingdom to the People’s Republic of China.

You can imagine what a moving experience it was for me.

A flood of sadness went through me as I witnessed the passing of an era for Hong Kong and yet, there was also a great sense of hope and optimism for a new beginning.

Between 2014 to 2016, as part of my doctoral course of studies, I attended some programmes at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and learned from three of the top professors from that university.

The programmes was an academically-stimulating and professionally-beneficial experience for me.

From October 3-4, 2014, I was on the streets in Hong Kong to observed one of the largest sit-in protests.

That protest was commonly known as the Umbrella Revolution.

It was organised to protest against the government’s proposed reforms to the Hong Kong electoral system.

It was sad to see many groups eyeballing each other. At the end, the protests caused undue unhappiness and conflicts in Hong Kong.

I have blogged separately about this event.


Suffice to say, the protest and its outcomes broke my heart.

In 2015, I attended a course in Hong Kong to study about social entrepreneurship.

As part of the study, I had to visit and learn from some social enterprises, and experience some of their initiatives on the ground.

In that same year, I was invited to address the Hong Kong-Singapore Association.

I shared with its leaders and members on the importance of leadership and teamwork and how these skills can help make the world a better place.

One of the highlights of my experiences in Hong Kong happened in 2014 when I was invited to speak at a CEO Conference.

One of my personal assistants was told to book a hotel for me in Hong Kong.

Of all the places, she picked the same place where I stayed when I first came to Hong Kong in 1976.

At one point, I broke down.

From 1976 to 2014, I felt like my life has gone one full circle.

I started off in my working life wanting to be a social worker.

However, I chose to pursue the path of entrepreneurship and investment.

Looking back, I realized that by being an entrepreneur and an investor, I could also achieve a similar objective of a social worker and that’s to help others live a better life.

I could also give back to society in other ways and achieve much more by serving and supporting worthwhile charity, humanitarian and philanthropic causes.

Thank you Hong Kong for playing an important part in my life and for the memories.

May the city continues to thrive as it provides a better life and a brighter future for its people.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


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