Hong Kong’s most prolific feng shui expert has died. Master Choi Pak-lai, who offered some valuable tips about the future in the last half a century, passed away peacefully at the Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital, surrounded by his children and family members.
Choi was the third generation of a legendary family of Chinese almanac experts specializing in the astrological calendar with an impeccable prediction record that Mckinsey, Goldman Sachs and Weather.com would admire.
For more than 120 years, the Choi family published the Choi Gen Po Tong Chinese Almanac, otherwise known as Tung Shing, that featured a calendar that specified what one should or should not do on a particular day – get married, move home, travel or picking a time or date for important occasions.
His book, based on the concepts of five elements and eight trigrams and his extensive knowledge of both Chinese and Western almanacs, was reported to have sold more than 70 million copies.
That was also why he was an adviser to political and business heavyweights including Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa, the last governor Chris Patten and Hong Kong’s richest man Li Ka-shing.
Because of his accuracy in timing, many people were willing to pay for his advice about the very fine details about a ceremony.
One example was the changeover ceremony of Hong Kong on July 1, 1997, when he suggested the ceremony start at 9:30 pm instead of the usual 8 pm. The all-day rain stopped at 9pm.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor praised Choi for his dedication in promoting Chinese culture throughout his life and added that he spared no effort in introducing the Chinese almanac to the general public.
His predictions on the stock market were very accurate. In February, he called for caution in March, saying the low point of the market would come in the second quarter with the market started to bounce back in the fall after a volatile summer.
The Hang Seng Index reached its peak in February before a trade war then dragged the market to its low point. Politically, he said the social debate will continue this year, which he described as critical and pressurized the political system. However, it is important to have a more harmonized society, he added.
Many say Choy stated the obvious, but no one could match his consistency in the last 50 years. His character and advice – particularly amid growing political and economic uncertainty – will be dearly missed.