Dr Jacinto M L Tong
Honorary University Fellow (2016)
Dr Jacinto M L Tong is an entrepreneur of exceptional success who enjoys a high reputation for his foresight and sensitivity to trends of development in the economy, and for his superlative analytical power. He is a leader of the business community of Hong Kong, well-known for his active participation in social services. An alumnus of the then Hong Kong Baptist College, Dr Tong has maintained close contact with Hong Kong Baptist University, and contributed generously to institutional development efforts of the University.
Dr Tong was born and brought up in Macau and moved to Hong Kong to further his studies on account of the unstable conditions then experienced in the enclave. He read Chemistry at the Hong Kong Baptist College, where he secured a solid foundation for his future academic and career development. After graduation he proceeded to Canada for higher studies, and upon completion he decided to return to Hong Kong to work, where he became engaged in finance and property mortgages. It was through these business connections that he first demonstrated his insight into the marvellous investment potentials which existed in the property market, at which juncture he established, together with members of his family, the Gale Well Group Limited to specialise in strategic property investment. Over the years Dr Tong has applied his tremendous wisdom and diligence to this corporation which, through well-timed and appropriate exploitation of opportunities as they occurred, now operates in Hong Kong, Macau and the Mainland, occupying a leading position in the sale and tenancy markets in residential and commercial property at its various locations. Dr Jacinto Tong is currently the Vice-Chairman and the Chief Executive Officer of the Group, in which capacity he continues to lead his company and his profession to growth and prosperity.
Despite his heavy business commitments, Dr Tong is very generous of his time and effort when it comes to narrating his experience on the road to success, through various means and channels, for members of the general public. He also freely allows the community to share his judicious views and foresight on property development and on global and local socio-economic trends. Examples can be seen in the columns and articles that he writes for a selection of major newspapers, financial magazines, and online platforms including the Apple Daily, Ming Pao, and iMoney. Dr Tong is also the author of a good number of books on property investment and related subjects, and the most notable titles include The Notes of a Property Investor and The Bust of Small Flats Market in Hong Kong. In these works, he explains to readers the various views on investment in the property market.
In addition to the respect and esteem that he commands in the business and media communities, Dr Tong has been the President of the Wan Chai Sports Federation since 2015, and was the Vice-Chairman of Hong Kong Squash in 2009. At the same time he also made substantial donations to support charitable and educational causes, for instance by establishing the Jacinto Tong Hostel Residence Grant at United College, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and contributing to the development efforts of both the Caritas Institute of Higher Education and the Caritas Bianchi College of Careers as member of the Board of Governors and the Fund-raising Committee of these institutions.
Dr Tong's business achievements and active participation in community services have earned him recognition from many quarters. In 2010, Lansbridge University, New Brunswick, Canada, conferred an honorary doctorate upon him, and in the same year the World Chinese Business Investment Foundation presented him with the World Outstanding Chinese Award. In 2012 he received a Leader of Excellence award from the CAPITAL magazine. In 2015, the L & T Charitable Foundation, of which Dr Tong is Vice-Chairman, also won international accolades for its sponsorship of Yim Tin Tsai Saltpan Revitalization Project, Sai Kung, which won UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation 2015 for "Award of Distinction" to the Yim Tin Tsai Saltpan Revitalization Project, Sai Kung, Hong Kong. Such are the valuable contributions that Dr Tong has made to the community, on which his reputation grows day by day.
Over these years Dr Jacinto Tong greatly appreciates the golden thread that binds him to his alma mater, and has lent his great support to the Hong Kong Baptist University on numerous occasions. He is a frequent visitor to campus as he enjoys gatherings with faculty and students for informal exchange of information on our institutional advancement activities. At the same time he benefits our students, faculty and staff by sharing with them his experience in life and work, and enriches them with precious knowledge and opinions. He has proactively assisted in University development efforts by offering his wise counsels and sage advice, and making substantial monetary offerings. He is an Honorary Member of the Court of the HKBU, an Honorary President of the HKBU Foundation, and sits on the latter's Entrepreneur Committee. Most recently, he made a donation to finance the production and publication of the HKBU 60th Anniversary History Book.
Dr Tong also has a keen interest in the various aspects of youth development, and takes great pleasure in attending sharing sessions with young people to discuss his appreciation and understanding of life experiences. He encourages young people not to be too mindful of failure or success, and the following quotations from his dialogue with young people particularly warrant our attention and reflection. He said, "We should concern ourselves with the sum of what we have gained, rather than harping on individual losses. What we have lost, let us treat it as the tuition fee for what we have learnt." "Difficulties give us hope." "Opportunities are very often under our control." He also advises young people to raise questions frequently, and at the same time to pay attention to the importance of decent speech, behaviour and attitude. He exhorts them not to dwell only on their own rights and privileges, so that their learning and experience may gain in both breadth and depth. These instances provide a glimpse of Dr Tong's sincere concern for the growth and development of our young people.
Dr Jacinto Tong has a business career that is crowned with spectacular success, and his participation in community welfare services is extensive. He is a benefactor and supporter of the Hong Kong Baptist University in many aspects of its development, and he demonstrates a genuine concern for the growth and formation of young people. In all these attributes, Dr Tong is indeed an exemplary model for the Honorary University Fellowship.