SINGAPORE - A former stockbroker turned Valencia football club owner, a property tycoon who is an active Chinese community leader, an eminent statistician, and a billionaire who made his fortune in paint.
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Here is the media statement from Forbes Asia:
FORBES ASIA'S HEROES OF PHILANTHROPY LIST HIGHLIGHTS EFFORTS OF 48 GIVERS
SINGAPORE - Forbes Asia today announced its latest annual Heroes of Philanthropy list, highlighting 48 of the Asia-Pacific region's notable philanthropists. The honorees ranged from billionaires with expansive visions of how best to help society to less well-known business people whose generosity is also leaving a huge mark. The list pays tribute to these leading givers, four each from 12 markets across the Asia-Pacific region. The full list can be found in the July issue of Forbes Asia as well as at www.forbes.com/altruists.
In Australia, billionaires Andrew Forrest and James Packer are channeling their wealth into good causes. Mining magnate Forrest donated US$62 million to Western Australia's five universities last October to fund scholarships and a residential college. The 46-year old casino operator James Packer established the $56 million Sydney Arts Fund in November following government approval for his $2 billion casino resort at the Sydney Harbour. Half the funding will go to arts group in Sydney's poor, western suburbs.
HNA Group's Chen Feng and Ningxi Baofeng Energy Group's Dang Yanbao of China are focused on helping youth. Feng donated $1.6 million last year to the UN World Food Programme to feed girls attending school in Ghana. Yanbao pledged $186 million last year to help university-bound students in his native Ningxia region of northwestern China. In Hong Kong, 65-year old Nellie Fong, the founder of Lifeline Express and former Chairman for China at PricewaterhouseCoopers, started an eye hospital on a train in 1997.
Her project has grown beyond conducting cataract operations in rural China to doctor training and building a network of clinics. Robert W. Miller, co-founder of Duty Free Shopping, pledged $13 million this May to the Asia Society Hong Kong Center to promote the arts.
Rohini Nilekani from India has given roughly US$40 million over the years. She set up Arghyam, which supports projects to protect groundwater and improve sanitation in India. She has also donated funds raised from the sale of her Infosys shares to causes such as improving the quality of India's laws and preserving biodiversity. Ajay Piramal, Chairman of Piramal Enterprises, has also set up a foundation that operates water-filtration plants and vending machines for selling clean water in bulk at a low cost.
Healthcare and education remained the focus of some other honorees. In Indonesia, 62-year old Tahir, Chairman of Mayapada Group, persuaded eight other local tycoons to each give $5 million to the Indonesia Health Fund, in collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The aim is to raise $100 million to fight tuberculosis and expand familyplanning programs.
Triputra Group's Theodore Rachmat supports scholarship programs at 17 major colleges and universities in Indonesia through his family's A&A Rachmat Compassionate Service Foundation. He also funds 32 medical clinics that have provided affordable care to 698,000 patients around the country.