FILM star Jackie Chan is donating antique Chinese houses, said to be worth upwards of $100 million, to Singapore's fourth university at Changi, Lianhe Zaobao reported yesterday. Foreign Minister George Yeo said in response that he was 'very excited' at the offer, which comes at a time when Singapore is exploring a tie-up between the new university and a leading Chinese university.
'The Chinese houses would be a wonderful symbol of this proposed partnership,' he said. 'We are aware that approval from the Chinese authorities is required for the transfer of the houses and have raised this matter with them.'
He added that Mr Chan has discussed the idea with Ng Eng Hen, Minister of Education, who 'responded enthusiastically'.
According to Mr Chan's agent in Singapore, the eight houses, from the Qing and Ming dynasties, were originally meant for the Hong Kong government, but Mr Chan felt they responded too slowly and decided to donate them to Singapore instead.
The agent, Guan Weiqiang, said that Mr Chan had felt it was more meaningful to place the houses in the university grounds, where they could be used as educational tools and for research. He said the main objective was to find a good home for the houses, which have been torn down from their original location to be preserved.
Source: Business Times - 13 Feb 2009