South China Morning Post
Hundreds of Hong Kong’s political and business leaders will bid their final farewells to Stanley Ho Hung-sun, patriarch of Asia’s largest casino empire and the “King of Gambling”, on Friday.Ho’s family members and friends were seen entering the Hong Kong Funeral Home in North Point on Friday morning to prepare for the funeral service.They included Ho’s daughter Pansy, the magnate’s fourth wife Angela Leong On Kei, former Hong Kong lawmaker Timothy Fok Tsun-ting, and his brother Ian Fok Chun-wan, a local deputy to China’s legislature the National People’s Congress.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.A public memorial was held at the Hong Kong Funeral Home in North Point on Thursday, and rows of wreaths of flowers from central government units, and members of the Hong Kong political and social elite, lined the funeral hall.On Wednesday, it was revealed wreath senders included China’s present and former leaders, such as President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, Vice-Premier Han Zheng as well as former premiers Zhu Rongji and Wen Jiabao.A memorial booklet issued on Thursday contained eulogies sent by various Beijing authorities, officials, Hong Kong academics, and NGOs.Among them were ones from the Communist Party’s United Front Work Department, the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO), Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, and Prince Edward, a member of the British royal family.In its eulogy, the HKMAO praised Ho for being a “patriot who loves Hong Kong and Macau”.“He has made important contributions to Hong Kong and Macau’s successful return to the motherland, the two city’s maintenance of prosperity and stability, as well as to the nation’s reform, opening up and modernisation,” it read. Bruce Lee to Stanley Ho – where are Hong Kong’s dead celebrities buried?Lam praised Ho for actively taking part in supporting Hong Kong’s social services, charities and tertiary institutions.“I am saddened by the passing of Dr Ho. On behalf of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to his family,” Lam said.Messages from Macau’s chief executive Ho Iat-seng, Beijing’s liaison office in Macau, and the foreign ministry’s Hong Kong commissioner Xie Feng, were also included in the booklet.Lam is expected to be among the eight pallbearers at Friday’s service. The others are former Hong Kong leader Tung Chee-hwa, former Macau leader Edmund Ho Hau-wah, Tan Tieniu, deputy chief of Beijing’s liaison office in Hong Kong, Macau’s financial chief Lei Wai-nong, as well as three veteran Hong Kong businessmen Gordon Wu Ying-sheung, David Li Kwok-po and Charles Lee Yeh-kwong.After the funeral service, Ho will be buried at Chiu Yuen Cemetery on Mount Davis.Ho, whose name was synonymous with Macau’s rise to overtake Las Vegas as the world’s gambling capital, died at Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital in Happy Valley on May 26 at the age of 98. He is survived by three wives and 14 of his 16 children.The business magnate had co-founded SJM Holdings, which owns 19 casinos in Macau including the Grand Lisboa.Ho’s personal fortune was estimated at HK$50 billion when he retired in 2018 just months before his 97th birthday.An heir of one of the four families that controlled much of old Hong Kong’s wealth and colonial-era business, Ho was born in the city on November 25, 1921.One of 13 siblings, he was the son of businessman Ho Sai Kwong, chairman of the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals.Rebel City: Hong Kong’s Year of Water and Fire is a new book of essays that chronicles the political confrontation that has gripped the city since June 2019. Edited by the South China Morning Post's Zuraidah Ibrahim and Jeffie Lam, the book draws on work from the Post's newsrooms across Hong Kong, Beijing, Washington and Singapore, with unmatched insights into all sides of the conflict. Buy directly from SCMP today and get a 15% discount (regular price HKD$198). It is available at major bookshops worldwide or online through Amazon, Kobo, Google Books, and eBooks.com.More from South China Morning Post: * Pansy Ho steps into the spotlight as de facto head and uniter of the sprawling clan after the passing of the King of Gambling * Stanley Ho: how the Macau casino tycoon’s love life shaped his successThis article Hong Kong elite prepares to say final farewell to ‘King of Gambling’ Stanley Ho first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2020.