Ex-officer of IIE Hong Kong chapter dies a hero

Leung tried to keep armed captor from killing family, other hostages

From staff reports

A former secretary and treasurer for the Institute of Industrial Engineers’ Hong Kong chapter died Aug. 23 while trying to shield his wife and others from a hostage taker’s bullets in Manila, according to colleagues and news reports.

Kenneth Leung was chapter secretary from 1996 to 1998. His two daughters, Doris and Jessie, also were killed. His wife and son survived, although his son Jason was recovering in intensive care after the attack. They were three of the eight hostages who died after Filipino authorities stormed a bus that held the hostages and their armed captor, a former police officer. The hostage taker was killed.

A graduate of Hong Kong University, Kenneth Leung was managing director of Stadium Asia Ltd., a electronic manufacturing services company based in the United Kingdom. He was a supporter of the university’s Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering and was an active member on its Industrial Advisory Committee.

“To all of us who knew Ken, he was a kind and courageous man, devoted to his family, dedicated to his profession and committed to doing good for humanity,” according to a statement from Hong Kong University. “A straightforward, straight-talking man, he was always helpful to anyone who needed a hand and gave 100 percent of himself to everything he did.”

Colleague Paul Mak called Leung a devoted husband and father. He was responsible and climbed the corporate ladder through hard work, Mak said.

According to Agence-France Presse, Mrs. Leung said she pretended to be dead so she could escape the siege and “take care of my children.” She said her husband died a hero.

“He was very brave,” she said. “He rushed forward to try to prevent the hostage taker from killing people and sacrificed himself.”

© 2016 Institute of Industrial Engineers. All rights reserved.