19 May 2019
Choi Park-lai has won wide acclaim for his efforts to promote Chinese culture and introduce the 'Tung Shing' almanac to the general public. Photo: HKEJ
Choi Park-lai has won wide acclaim for his efforts to promote Chinese culture and introduce the 'Tung Shing' almanac to the general public. Photo: HKEJ

Renowned feng shui master Choi Park-lai dies at 96

Choi Park-lai, a renowned feng shui master who counted some of Hong Kong’s biggest tycoons among his followers, has died at the age of 96.

Choi passed away peacefully at the Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital Thursday morning, with his wife and five children at his bedside.

Although he is a well-known and much revered figure, the family, citing Choi’s wish to avoid fanfare, has decided that there won’t be any memorial gathering where the public can pay tribute.

After learning of Choi’s death, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, who was in Beijing for an official visit on Thursday, extended her deepest condolences to the master’s family, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Expressing deep sorrow over the passing, Lam noted in a statement that Choi was a person who “was dedicated to promoting Chinese culture throughout his life and spared no effort in introducing the Chinese almanac to the general public.”

The feng shui master was “benevolent and cared for the younger generations, contributing significantly to the community,” Lam said.

Choi was born in Shunde in Guangdong province in 1922, and came to reside in Hong Kong in 1952.

He edited the calendars in different versions of the popular “Tung Shing” almanac, which is popular with many Chinese people in Hong Kong and overseas and used by them in daily life. The book was said to be enjoying sales of one million copies a year worldwide.

The feng shui and traditional Chinese almanac expert, who was awarded the Gold Bauhinia Star by the Hong Kong government in 2015, authored the Choi Gen Po Tong Chinese Almanac, his family version of “Tung Shing”, which was recognized by the Guangdong government in 2013 as an intangible cultural heritage.

Five of Choi’s 11 children have vowed to carry his legacy forward. The five children, including the eldest daughter Choi Hing-wah, are taking over as the fourth generation descendants to run the family business of publishing the Choi Gen Po Tong Chinese Almanac.

Choi Hing-wah, who is herself a feng shui expert, has been editing the calendars in different versions of “Tung Shing”, a job she has taken over from her father in recent years.

According to Choi Hing-wah, her father had been reluctant to succeed his dad in a career of feng shui when he was young, but he later changed his mind and decided to pursue a career in feng shui by taking his father’s advice.

Choi Park-lai’s grandfather had also been involved in Chinese almanacs.

The deceased feng shui master, during his lifetime, offered guidance to several prominent business tycoons as well as political figures, and also advised on important events that took place in the city.

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