Mrs Chan Wong Shui Pamela
Doctor of Social Sciences, honoris causa (2017)
Mrs Chan Wong Shui, Pamela is a graduate of the Social Work Department of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and also holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the Peking University. In 1975, Mrs Chan was appointed the General Secretary of the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs Association of Hong Kong. In 1985, she was appointed to the position of Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Consumer Council, making a transition from promoting the welfare of young people to a new venture, protecting and promoting the rights and interests of all Hong Kong consumers. Mrs Chan served as the Council’s Chief Executive for twenty-two years, until she retired from the position in 2007.
Throughout the years when Mrs Chan was at the helm of the Consumer Council, Hong Kong underwent immense changes in many spheres that encompassed social, economic and political issues. For example, there were changes in the oversight of business enterprises, changes in the concepts and modus operandi of political governance, and changes in the approach taken for the protection of people's rights.
Within this dynamic environment, the Consumer Council, under Mrs Chan’s able leadership, successfully promoted among various sectors of the Hong Kong community, the importance of recognizing and upholding consumer rights. The Council also spoke up for consumers through a constant and vigilant watch over trade practices and the market environment. As a result it successfully pushed through a number of major pieces of legislation leading to improvements in the protection of consumers.
All these endeavors have made the Consumer Council a highly trusted and reliable institution in the eyes of the Hong Kong people. The Council’s Choice magazine, featuring product testing and other reports aimed at empowering consumers in the marketplace, together with a monthly press conference, has run uninterrupted for four decades. It is widely acknowledged as a much respected and entrusted consumer rights platform by the media as well as by the public.
The familiar consumer slogan “Speak up for your rights” was well recognized by everyone and attests to the success of the Council’s broad consumer education campaign. In order to nurture younger generations to take an interest in consumer culture, the market environment and their impact on society, the Council also successfully facilitated the incorporation of consumer education into the school curriculum.
It is also Mrs Chan’s conviction that local and international collaboration is essential in advancing consumer welfare for all. In the course of her tenure at the Hong Kong Consumer Council, Mrs Chan concurrently assumed a key leadership role as an elected Council and Executive member of Consumers International, a global body of over 120 consumer organizations worldwide. During that time she was also elected as President of Consumers International from 1997 to 2000.
The 1980s saw the dawn of consumer protection awareness in Mainland China. As a result, Mrs Chan worked closely with the China Consumer Association and its provincial and municipal branches, in support of their consumer protection efforts. At that time Mrs Chan also played a pivotal role in facilitating the admission of the China Consumer Association and the Consumers’ Foundation of Chinese Taipei into membership of Consumers International in 1987, which was a milestone for advancement of consumer interests globally.
In 2000, the China Consumers’ Association presented a gold medal to Mrs Chan in commendation of her exemplary work in the protection of consumer rights. In 2007, Mrs Chan was also presented the Rhoda Karpatkin Consumers International Award by the American Council on Consumer Interest in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the welfare of consumers in the international arena. The same year, she was also presented with the honorary title of Patron of Consumers International.
Working for decades as a public advocate, particularly for the underprivileged, Mrs Chan has amassed a treasure trove of experience. Her years in public service have encompassed a wide spectrum, serving on committees and boards such as the Hospital Authority, the Housing Authority and the Law Reform Commission, amongst others.
In 2010, the Government invited Mrs Chan to serve as the Chairperson of the Hong Kong Deposit Protection Board, a post dedicated to protecting bank depositors, which she held for six years. Even in her current retirement, Mrs Chan is still serving the people of Hong Kong. She is the Vice-Patron of the Community Chest of Hong Kong, the Vice-Chairman of the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs Association of Hong Kong, and an Independent Non-executive Director of the Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway Corporation.
In the field of tertiary education, in addition to serving as a member of the University Grants Committee, Mrs Chan has maintained a close relationship with Hong Kong Baptist University. She was the Deputy Chairman of the Council and Court of the University from 2013 to 2016. During that period, she also concurrently served as Chairman of the Personnel Committee under the Council, and member of the University Superannuation Fund Supervisory Board. Her years of experience in promoting good corporate governance, has helped foster the development of the University.
Mrs Chan’s significant contributions have been widely recognized. She was presented a Bronze Bauhinia Star by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and an Honorary Fellowship by The Chinese University of Hong Kong. She was also appointed Justice of the Peace. Her professional training in social work empowers Mrs Chan to uphold the value of serving the public with compassion. She has been selflessly tending to those in need and speaking up for them, regardless of their social status. Of all her numerous achievements, the most prominent is her contribution to consumer protection and empowerment, gaining her wide acclaim not only in Hong Kong, but in the Greater China region and globally.