Tears as 'big brother' Wong loses cancer fight

Local | Maisy Mok 10 Jun 2021

Maisy Mok

Tributes poured in for former lawmaker and businessman Philip Wong Yu-hong who died of cancer at the age of 82.

He passed away in a hospital in the United States Sunday night after remaining unconscious for more than two months, his wife Leung Fung-yee said.

Wong was diagnosed with lung cancer five years ago and had recovered but the cancer spread to his brain at the beginning of this year.

Leung said: "Throughout my life, I don't worry, complain or cry about any problems. I've been holding back tears every day for three months, it has been extremely tough. These two days, I have been crying nonstop. I really miss Yu-hong very much. I don't need anything, I just need Yu-hong."

Fujian-born Wong was the son of Wong Ker-lee, a former standing committee member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

Wong was the chairman and chief executive of his own business, Winco Paper Products.

He was elected as a member of the former Legislative Council in 1991 and continued to serve the legislature until 2012 via the commercial (second) functional constituency.

He was also the former vice-chairman of the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce and served as a Hong Kong deputy to the National People's Congress from 1998 to 2013.

In 2003, he was awarded the Gold Bauhinia Star.

His career was not without controversies. In 2003, he notably gave protesters opposing the Article 23 anti-subversion legislation the finger, an incident for which he had apologized.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor extended condolences to the family on behalf of the government yesterday.

She said Wong had actively taken part in public and community service for a long time with distinguished performance in his public service roles. She added that he served as an effective link between the chamber of commerce and the SAR administration.

Executive Councilor Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung said he is saddened by Wong's death, adding that he and Wong were "comrade-in-arms." Lam said Wong was passionate about charity work and donated to local and mainland universities.

Legislative Council president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen said Wong had been his teacher, friend and "big brother." He praised Wong for his contributions to Hong Kong. Leung said that Wong moved to Canada around two years ago and went to the United States when his sickness deteriorated.

Wong's cremation ceremony will take place in the United States, he added. Due to the pandemic, his memorial service in Hong Kong might be held later this year or next year.

"He was an upright and impartial person," fellow NPC deputy Ma Fung-kwok said. "He loved our country and Hong Kong, and was a friend that I absolutely respected. It's a pity."



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