Something is terribly wrong with this year’s Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP) awards.
First, the awardees are not really young (Nathan Law, 25, is young but not Starry Lee who is 42) and worse still, they are not outstanding.
No wonder Junior Chamber International, the awards’ organizer, could only pick five winners this year.
Even so, they should have excluded Fonia Wong, who does nothing more than offend many of her peers with her “success” story.
Among the worst lines from the 40-year-old was that she managed to buy a flat after just five years of work and pay off the mortgage in the next three years.
“Here is my formula: people usually need to save till age 40 before buying a flat. If I want to make it in five years, I need to put four times more effort than the average person,” she said.
Fong, a senior executive at finance company SHK Private, said she pasted newspaper clippings of her dream flats on the front cover of her diary.
To stay focused, she had not gone to more than five movies or concerts in the past five years and she rarely hung out with her colleagues.
She managed to buy a 900 square-foot three-bedroom flat in Central Heights in Tseung Kwan O for HK$2.31 million (as opposed to the HK$3 million she claimed) in November 2003 and paid off the mortgage in July 2006.
No doubt her hard work paid off but she is also very lucky.
She bought her flat at the century-low point of the Hong Kong residential market.
Her money cannot afford most small new sub-divided flats nowadays.
We cannot help wondering what sort of role model she presents other than a money-making machine who excels at financial product sales.
But she runs the risk of belittling people who have not tried as hard as her or average people who see five movies or concerts a year.
To her credit, Wong was raised in a Taipo squatter area and studied in a band five school before graduating with a marketing degree from the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong.
She worked in a multi-level marketing company in her school days and worked everyday except on Lunar New Year.
Amazingly, she found time for volunteer work with the Junior Police Call and young leader and the Rotary Club’s service awards.
She also serves in a couple of Chiu Chow associations, including a business chamber.
She is said to have known Anthony Wu Ting-yuk, former Hospital Authority chairman and the TOYP awards’ chief judge.
Wu showed up on Wong’s 40th birthday on Aug. 2, during the No. 8 typhoon signal.
Wong’s Facebook page shows photos with the Secretary for Food and Health.
The awards’ organizer said Wu, who revealed that he has known Wong, did not make any comments about her during the judging process.
Wong may be a sales and marketing expert but that does not make her a young idol.
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