SINGAPORE (Reuters Life!) - A Taiwanese vegetable seller and the mother of media mogul Rupert Murdoch are among the most generous souls in the Asia Pacific, according to a list of philanthropist “heroes” in the region.
The list, compiled by magazine Forbes Asia and in its third year, features 48 of the region’s most prominent altruists.
Four were chosen from 12 markets in the region — Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.
“These aren’t always the biggest givers,” John Koppisch, associate editor of Forbes Asia, said.
“Instead we aim to highlight a varied group of generous people, some holdovers from last year but mostly new names who deserve recognition. By calling attention to these 48 we hope to encourage more giving,” he said in a statement.
Forbes Asia said the past year was a good one for philanthropy as tycoons and more modest donors continued to fund charitable projects.
The causes supported ranged from disaster recovery, education and health to culture and science, with education being the popular choice among featured philanthropists this year.
Among the most striking honorees is Chen Shu-Chu, a 59-year-old who Forbes said has been selling vegetables in Taiwan’s Taitung central market since 1963 and who had to drop out of school to support her family.
Her donations include $32,000 for a children’s fund in 2004 and $144,000 to help build a library at the school she once attended. She plans to set up a $313,000 fund this year to help the poor with education and healthcare, the magazine said.
Australian Elisabeth Murdoch, the 101-year-old mother of News Corp’s chief Rupert Murdoch, was honored for giving back to society for decades, and the country’s richest man, Fortescue Metals founder and billionaire Andrew Forrest, was also praised for his philanthropic efforts.
Hollywood action star Jackie Chan, one of Hong Kong’s most famous sons, was also on the list, which also included China’s international basketball star Yao Ming.
For the full list, click on www.forbes.com/altruists
Writing by Miral Fahmy, editing by Sugita Katyal