RAJ CAIRNS REPORT


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The Fungs achieve miracles in Vancover Canada , —What has Cairns missed out on by letting Tony Fung go to CANBERRA


 

 

 

 

 

 

One of Metro Vancouver’s richest men is walking between stores at Aberdeen Centre.

Thomas Fung owns dozens of stores in the mall that he spent $100 million on in 2003, but shoppers pay him little notice. This suits him just fine. He prefers to avoid the spotlight.

Fung’s Fairchild Group empire includes an impressive list of media holdings, wholesale and retail arms and, as of a couple months ago, the new Boundary Bay Airport flying school, Sealand Air.

Some have described Fung as a billionaire. His company’s website acknowledges that Fairchild’s holdings are worth more than $400 million, yet Fung remains humble and unpretentious.

“This shirt, I’m wearing,” he says while touching the collar of his pink pin-stripe shirt. “We sell it for $9 at Price Just 4 You.”

That’s just one of his many fashion stores.

Fung then goes back to sipping some soda water mixed with plum bits at his Seventh Heaven Café.

“I live a very simple life. I don’t have luxury homes all over the world. I never travel first class.”

He also never takes vacations, except for a few days around Christmas.

“I enjoy what I do so much because every day there’s something new,” he said. “I resolve problems every day. It’s kind of a game. It’s a challenge, but it’s a manageable challenge.”

Fung launched his flying school when he realized that there was a worldwide pilot shortage and a growing demand from North American baby boomers for recreational pilot licences.

He invested $1.5 million to buy five new single-engine planes and an unspecified amount on a hangar. He claims to offer training on newer planes than his competition owns.

Fung understands the flying business from different perspectives. When the 56-year-old was younger, he earned his own pilot’s licence and flew around Canada and Asia.

That personal connection with his businesses’ products is one of the few common threads that run through his empire.

The Magee high school graduate took baking courses in Japan during his 20s. When he returned to Vancouver in 1984, he founded the first of four Saint Germain Bakery outlets. Now, as the Canadian master franchisee for the popular Japanese chain Beard Papa, Fung also operates the cream puff store at Aberdeen Centre that is well known for hour-long lineups on weekends.

Fung took film-making courses in New York in the late 1970s while completing a business degree at New York University. His Fairchild Films now distributes Paper Moon Affair, which Fung wrote and filmed on Bowen Island.

Finally, Fung is also an avid non-fiction reader and diarist. So it’s no surprise that he operates an extensive media empire and sometimes contributes articles to his Popular Lifestyle magazine.

That media empire is growing.

In January, Fung surprised observers by spending an undisclosed amount to partner with Sing Tao Daily to buy Toronto’s Chinese language AM1540, a radio station that will compete with one of Fung’s six Fairchild Radio stations across Canada.

Other media holdings include Fairchild TV, which broadcasts across Canada, and the Internet portal and web host venture Eseenet.com.

“He combines business acumen with creativity,” said Richmond mayor Malcolm Brodie. “He doesn’t think within the regular boxes that most of us think within. He’s pushing boundaries all over the place. Then, once he sees his vision, he is very determined in pursuing that vision even though very large investments are on the line.”

Longtime acquaintances agree, but say his biggest talent is turning businesses around.

These attributes coincided when Fung tore down the original Aberdeen Centre, which he built in 1990 for $10 million. He then rebuilt a mall three times the size on the same site.

“A lot of people told him he would not succeed, but he went ahead anyway,” said S.U.C.C.E.S.S. CEO Tung Chan, who has known Fung for decades.

“He has deep pockets. So at the beginning, when rental wasn’t going as well, he just opened his own stores. You don’t see that in any other development.”

Fung confirmed that Henderson Development, owners of the long-struggling International Village shopping centre, has asked him to help it transform its largely empty facility, which houses the Cinemark Tinseltown theatres.

Chan believes Fung’s financial resources and local presence are the big differences between the two retail centres.

“International Village has a local manager who can’t get resources as readily as Thomas can. Thomas can say, ‘It’s my money. I write the cheque.’”

Accolades aside, Fung is the first to admit that he has made mistakes. He points, for example, to a joint venture project in China in pharmaceuticals.

“I was not one of the controlling shareholders, and I didn’t manage the company,” he said of the 1990s venture.

The company flopped, and even though Fung believed he knew how to turn things around, he was ignored by majority shareholders and management.

From then on, he vowed to either be a controlling principal or manager.

Fung travels extensively, but finds time to take his wife, Amy, dancing at Seventh Heaven Café on weekends. The couple have one son, Joseph, who works in Hong Kong.

Earlier this year, the Vancouver Board of Trade honoured Fung with its Spirit of Vancouver leadership award.   – 2008 April 22   BUSINESS IN VANCOUVER

MORE PRESS:

Thomas Fung, the Fairchild Group chair and CEO, wife Amy Chan and her sister Carmen threw a dinner at Fung’s Endowment Lands mansion Tuesday for politicos, diplomats, bankers, corporate brass, institutional folk and a few below-the-salt fifth estaters.

As the seamless event unfolded, it was amusing to consider that a wrecking crew was simultaneously tearing down Fairchild’s 110,000-square-foot Aberdeen Centre in Richmond – surely the first local demolition of such a large 11-year-old structure. By November next year, Fung blandly said, the miscast facility — which has always been overshadowed by the nearby, much larger, anchor-tenanted and thoroughly occidental Richmond Centre — will be replaced by a 380,000-square-foot complex drawn by firecracker-hot architect Bing Thom and handled inside by upscale design darling Colin Steven.

Thom also penned the University of B.C.’s Chan Centre, whose $10-million benefactors, Caleb and Tom Chan, attended the Fung beano.

Digging into the sushi too was Vancouver Aquarium president and CEO John Nightingale, who is emerging as the chap who’ll spearhead a $3-million drive to install a state-of-the-art organ in the acoustically peerless Chan Centre.

Nightingale may also install a satellite of the Stanley Park aquarium in the reborn Aberdeen Centre. And that fishy facility could adjoin a spinoff of False Creek’s Science Centre, which was represented at the Fung dinner by boss Bryan Tisdall

Caterina Chu’s eyes lit up later, when it seemed possible that some diners might trip from their tables into Fung’s granite-boulder-rimmed indoor swimming pool. Chu is the TV talk-show host and movie producer who, with Kong Kong-based director-husband Jamie Lukkimming, has made 20 romantic and situation comedies — elements of which were echoed chez Fung.   -  by Malcolm Parry    VANCOUVER SUN    16 May 2002

Businessman realizes dream of making a film
He has built malls and a media network, but Thomas Fung always had a secret ambition

Vancouver businessman Thomas Fung doesn’t exactly come across as your dreamy, starry-eyed romantic.

He is the founder of the enormously successful Fairchild Group, a multi-million-dollar media and real estate empire. He is the builder of Asian-theme shopping malls and Chinese-language television networks and radio stations. Time magazine named him one of the most influential people in Canada.

But for more than 20 years, Fung has been walking around with a secret.

All this time, he has been dreaming up this story of a beautiful, mature Asian woman, the kind teenage boys fall in love with.

It happens all the time, he claims.

“When you are a teenager, you will probably meet or see a lady some time in your life. She is beautiful and high class and something you cannot reach, but she fascinates you and so you fantasize about her and try to find ways to approach her.”

That is the underlying theme of Paper Moon Affair, the inaugural film for Fung’s latest commercial brainchild, Fairchild Films International.

Film crews headed to Bowen Island Monday to begin filming the story of Hart, a young man saddled with the care of Bill, his alcoholic father who has fallen from affluent fishing boat owner to the town drunk in a remote West Coast village. He is drawn to Keiko, a mysterious and radiantly beautiful Japanese woman who lands in the village with her cold but wealthy husband.

Asked to describe the film, Fung responds without a trace of hesitation, “Romantic and sensual.” His tone is so blunt, it’s hard to believe he used those words.

The start of shooting was ground-breaking in more ways than one. It’s not every day that the man financing and finagling the details for the show has also dreamed up the plot. With the help of director David Tamagi and producer Michael Parker, he turned a wisp of his imagination into a script.

“I’m wearing two hats. I have to watch over the budget and be responsible for distribution, cost and putting everything together. In a way, I have to manage it like a businessman. At the same time, I’d like very much for the film to have production value which I emphasize a lot in the cinematography, the art direction, lighting, music and the story.”

Of the two hats, Fung says it is the creative one that is his passion. “Whenever I have spare time, I go into the creative part of the arts.”

The question had to be asked: Did Fung himself harbour such fantasies as a teenage boy? He is sure he did but he is cryptic about the details. “One way or the other, to some extent. I can’t even remember. I’m getting old now.” Fung is in his early 50s.

Fung spent most of his teen years in Hong Kong, emigrating to Canada in 1967. His father, who headed a Hong Kong banking empire, expected his two sons to enter the family business.

Fung had other ideas. He studied filmmaking on the side at New York University when he was sent to New York City to train at the Merrill Lynch brokerage firm. Then he went back to Hong Kong, staying 10 years and starting a film-production company, an advertising agency and a public relations firm. In 1984, he moved to Vancouver where he built the Aberdeen Centre shopping mall.

As long as Fung breaks even with the film and he has produced an artistic movie, he will be happy.

The budget for the film is $1.5 million. The shooting schedule is tight. The entire 100-minute film will be shot in Bowen Island, Mission, Vancouver and Tofino in three weeks.

Finding the right person to play Keiko was not easy. “The difficulty was to find a lady that acts and looks graceful, elegant and who can speak English and someone who is willing to have some frontal exposure, some nudity.”

He found that in Misa Shimizu. The 34-year-old Tokyo-born actress has won several awards, including one for best new performer in 1991 at the annual Japanese academy awards.

Hong Kong star John Lone (Rush Hour 2, The Last Emperor) makes a special appearance as her husband. Brendan Fletcher (Equus, The Law of Enclosures) stars as Hart, and Sebastian Spence (Crossing, Dawson’s Creek) stars as Vern, an unhappy romantic who must decide how much he is willing to lose for the possibility of love.

Fung expects his movie will resonate better with audiences in Japan, Asia and Europe than in North America. Part of the reason, he explains, is class distinction, which contributes to the teenage boy’s fascination. “When a young boy grows up, they will go through the experience more frequently [in these countries]. In North America, you don’t have that kind of a class separation as much.”

In the U.S., he suspects Paper Moon Affair will be treated as an oddity.   – 2004 June 2      VANCOUVER SUN   by Yvonne Zacharias

   
VANCOUVER LIFE  
TM by MALCOLM PARRY

Terry Hui joined the melee at fellow property titan Thomas Fung’s annual chow-down.   – Malcolm Parry   VANCOUVER MAGAZINE  Summer 2002  

A.C. Nielsen DJC research from 1998 noted Fairchild Television reached 82,900 people each day and Fairchild’s radio station, AM 1470, reached 60,100. The daily newspapers Ming Pao reached 46,700 readers andSing Tao reached 45,700 people. *  - Glen Korstrom   BUSINESS IN VANCOUVER   September 12-September 18, 2000. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Should Saudi Funding be allowed for Islamic Schools in Queensland —-Former chief of Islamic body warns of rise of Islamic fascism | The Australian——–“Most politicians do not want to be seen intervening in the Muslim community. The attitude seems to be, ‘Well it’s all too hard’.”


THE founding president of Australia’s peak Islamic body has hit out at what he calls “a toxic subculture” in local Muslim schools and institutions that is fostering extremism.

Haset Sali, who was founding president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils and who served as both a president and legal adviser to the organisation for more than 30 years, has attacked what he sees as the corrosive force of widespread corruption in many of Australia’s Muslim schools.

He says the lack of functioning Muslim institutions is forcing many young Muslims toward the teachings of extremist imams preaching “Islamic fascism”.

Australian Muslim schools have been the centre of a series of financial of corruption scandals, with five of Sydney’s Muslim schools previously having their funding frozen or placed under government or police investigations for financial mismanagement.

 

Mr Sali said he was increasingly concerned about extremism creeping into the curriculum of Islamic schools, which he saw as a direct result of a failure of governance standards.

“I am very concerned about the teaching curriculum. When we started first schools with the help of the Saudi funding it was very much at arms-length because they knew we had a strong leadership structure here. What has happened since then I cannot take responsibility for.

“Most politicians do not want to be seen intervening in the Muslim community. The attitude seems to be, ‘Well it’s all too hard’.”

 

 

Former chief of Islamic body warns of rise of Islamic fascism | The Australian.


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ACT LABOR Government will hand over the Canberra Casino to AQUIS with no probity but never allow pokies———Moore / Conflicted Labor can’t get snout out of pokies – Canberra CityNews————–The Labor government does have a conflict of interest in making administrative decisions about poker machines. Over the past five years the Labor Party has received more than $2.4 million from the Labor-affiliated clubs. This is money that provides support for each of the Labor members to get elected.


 

The Labor government does have a conflict of interest in making administrative decisions about poker machines. Over the past five years the Labor Party has received more than $2.4 million from the Labor-affiliated clubs. This is money that provides support for each of the Labor members to get elected.

In 2007 in “CityNews” I drew attention to the work of Alan Rosenthal who, writing in “Ethics and Political Practice”, was saying that: “The fundamental prohibition applies to the legislator who would personally benefit from some piece of legislation in a way or to a degree that other people would not”.

 

 

 

 

 

Moore / Conflicted Labor can’t get snout out of pokies – Canberra CityNews.


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Aquis and Fungs better be carefull of the ACT LABOR PARTY , when they take over Canberra Casino——-No chance of pokies in Canberra Casino , no wonder it is going cheap—-Labor accused of hypocrisy on link to ACT pokies clubs | The Australian———The ACT branch of the Labor Party receives more than $500,000 a year in a political donation from the clubs and then gives thousands of dollars to the federal party. The clubs — located in Canberra’s CBD and in suburban Belconnen, Weston Creek and Ginninderra — are run by Canberra Labor Clubs, whose board is made up of Labor members.


 

 

 

The ACT branch of the Labor Party receives more than $500,000 a year in a political donation from the clubs and then gives thousands of dollars to the federal party.

The clubs — located in Canberra’s CBD and in suburban Belconnen, Weston Creek and Ginninderra — are run by Canberra Labor Clubs, whose board is made up of Labor members.

Australian Electoral Commission records reveal ACT Labor received $662,067 in 2009-10. In the same year, ACT Labor donated almost $10,000 to the national ALP.

The federal opposition, Mr Wilkie and anti-gambling senator Nick Xenophon all say Labor’s links to the clubs are inappropriate and hypocritical in view of attack on Tony Abbott over donations from tobacco companies.

“They talk about the evils of poker machines yet they take hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from poker machines,” Coalition gambling reform spokesman Steven Ciobo said. “Unfortunately, the Labor Party again displays utter hypocrisy.”

 

 

 

Labor accused of hypocrisy on link to ACT pokies clubs | The Australian.


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Cairns Don’t Dream It’s Over – — AQUIS WILL NOT HAPPEN—-Hong Kong money going to build Brisbane Casino


 

 

 

Crowded House – Don’t Dream It’s Over – YouTube.

 

3 June 2014

Strategic joint venture for Queen’s Wharf Brisbane development projectChow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited (CTF) and Far East Consortium International Limited, (FEC) today announced the signing of a binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Echo Entertainment Group Limited (Echo) to create a new consortium to prepare a detailed proposal to develop an entertainment precinct and integrated resort at the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane site.

Under the MOU announced today, CTF, FEC and Echo, will combine their considerable complimentary capabilities to form the Destination Brisbane Consortium. This consortium will develop and submit jointly a proposal for the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane Project. The Destination Brisbane Consortium brings together CTF and FEC’s international hospitality operations, mixed use development expertise and strong links into Chinese and Asian markets with Echo’s extensive Queensland and broader Australian experience in operating integrated resorts.

As part of the agreement, CTF and FEC will each contribute twenty five per cent of the capital to the development of the integrated resort and together, will also undertake the residential and related components of the broader Queen’s Wharf Brisbane development. Echo will contribute fifty per cent of the capital to the development of the integrated resort and act as the operator under a long dated gaming operator agreement.

CTF is a Hong Kong based investment holding company controlled by Dato’ Dr. Cheng Yu Tung and family (the “Cheng Family”) with extensive interests in property, hospitality, and consumer and retail businesses. The Cheng Family also controls Chow Tai Fook Jewellery, the world’s largest jewellery retailer, with over 2,000 points of sales in Greater China.

CTF is active in property development with a number of large scale mixed-use regeneration projects and developments under way around the world. CTF also presents the Destination Brisbane Consortium with the opportunity to leverage CTF’s Chinese and Asian VIP client base.

FEC is a Hong Kong listed property developer with global interests in international hospitality businesses and a strong dominance in Asia. FEC is currently developing a number of properties across Mainland China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and the United Kingdom. FEC have also had extensive property development activities in Australia since 1994, with a senior management team based in Melbourne. One of its current projects includes Upper West Side, one of the largest inner city developments in Australia with 2200 apartments over four towers and 30 retail outlets. FEC also owns 25 hotels globally (including 5 under development) and manages 300 car parks, comprising 53,000 parking bays.

Echo, listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, is a renowned integrated resorts operator with extensive presence and operation experience in Australia and in particular Queensland. Resort properties under its ownership and management include The Treasury Casino & Hotel, Brisbane; Jupiters Hotel & Casino, Gold Coast; Jupiters Townsville; and The Star in Sydney.

With revenues of approximately A$1.2bn, a market capitalisation of over A$2.5bn, more than 8,000 staff and almost 20 million visitors per year, Echo is an industry leader in the Australian marketplace, and a significant player in the Australian Tourism landscape.

The parties have strong and highly complementary skills across gaming, hotel operations, car parking, residential development, retail and tourism experience and can provide a holistic solution for the development.

With strong combined balance sheets, the consortium has robust financial capability to fund the project.

CTF Director and Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Tsang, commented on the formation of the strategic joint venture, “We are pleased to join force with Echo on this landmark integrated resorts project in Brisbane, Queensland. This represents a major step for us in making a strategic investment in Australia.”

“CTF group has a successful track record in landmark property regeneration and development worldwide. We will contribute to the consortium with our expertise in retail, hospitality and property development and management.”

FEC Managing Director, Chris Hoong said, “The joint venture brings together all the elements and skillsets necessary to deal with the various challenges of the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane project. “FEC has significant investments in Australia and is very excited about this once in a life-time opportunity to transform the Brisbane city centre.”

Given the confidential nature of the bid process, there is limited ability to provide information while engaged in the process, however we look forward to sharing our vision further at the appropriate stage.

For more information:
FEC Public Relation: Kat Chow, Tel: 2850 0625

Overview of CTF, FEC and Echo

About CTF

CTF is a Hong Kong-based private company controlled by the Cheng Family. The principal activities of the CTF group of companies are investment holding, property, hospitality, and consumer and retail businesses.

CTF also is the controlling shareholder of New World Development Company Limited (NWD), a leading Hong Kong based conglomerate listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong with a market capitalisation of approximately A$10 billion. NWD, through its Hong Kong listed subsidiaries, engages in property, infrastructure and service, department store and hotel businesses. NWD’s Rosewood Hotel Group manages a portfolio of 48 hotels in 17 countries across 3 different brands.

About FEC

FEC is an international property development company with a strong Australian presence. Founded in 1960, FEC is one of Asia’s largest property developers and is a public company listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong.

Since commencing operations in Australia in 1994, the group has contributed significantly to Melbourne’s skyline through 12 landmark urban renewal redevelopments. FEC also owns Care Park Group, one of the largest car park operators in Australia, and Dorsett Hospitality Group, a hotel group listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong with hotels in the Mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and the United Kingdom.

About Echo

Echo is an ASX listed casino and resort company. With more than 8,000 staff, Echo is an industry leader in the marketplace in Australia. The company was demerged from Tabcorp in 2011, as a specialist casino and resort business. Since then it has overseen a significant program of development and investment, including a transformational $870m upgrade of The Star in Sydney, and the recent commitment of $345m for similar development, including a new 5-star hotel tower, at Jupiters Hotel & Casino on the Gold Coast. This project, to be completed prior to the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, together with Echo’s aspirations to develop Queens Wharf Brisbane into a place-defining entertainment precinct, underscore Echo’s commitment to Queensland as a priority market for the Group.

 

 

 

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The Dream is over for Cairns —–AQUIS will not happen ——-Cairns will become a boutique Tourist destination for EUROPEAN BACKPACKERS who love diving, the Chinese wil go to Brisbane and the Gold Coast——–Aquis set back as Cairns Reef Hotel Casino takeover looks to fail after 13 out of 15 conditions ‘not fulfilled’ | Business News | Business and Finance News | | Cairns Post


 

 

One observer, who would not be named, said that there were doubts the deal would proceed. “There are two key conditions. One is probity and the other is 90 per cent acceptances,’’ he said. “90 per cent is less crucial but probity is. They could opt to waive probity but that is a requirement of the government of any buyer of a casino and its gaming licence.

“It all hinges on probity.’’

The analyst said the market would form its own view today.

An Aquis spokesman said that under disclosure restrictions, no comment could be made until today when a full explanation would be made by the compan

 

Aquis set back as Cairns Reef Hotel Casino takeover looks to fail after 13 out of 15 conditions ‘not fulfilled’ | Business News | Business and Finance News | | Cairns Post.

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