KUALA LUMPUR: Former transport minister Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy has donated his Dream of the Red Chamber collection to the library of his alma mater Universiti Malaya.
The collection will be displayed in a special room on the fourth floor of the central library to showcase some 6,000 items of literary works which Chan had collected over 40 years.
The collection includes calligraphy works, paintings and manuscripts in more than 10 languages.
Dream of the Red Chamber, written by Cao Xueqin, is also known as The Story of the Stone. It is one of the four great classical novels in Chinese literature.
Chan said he was happy that his lifelong collection has found a new home, one which was committed to the future teaching and research of the great classic novel.
“It is my personal hope that this centre will be fully utilised by the academic community of UM.
"I’d like to see local and international enthusiasts come here and make full use of the collection,” he said in his speech at the opening ceremony of the Dream of the Red Chamber resource centre at UM on Saturday.
The collection by Chan, who studied at UM's Chinese Studies Department, is touted as the largest private overseas collection.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai was the guest of honour at the event.
Also present were UM acting vice-chancellor Prof Dr Awang Bulgiba Awang Mahmud, UM Chinese Studies Department Alumni Association president Datuk Ng Tong Hai, UM acting chief librarian Mahbob Yusof and Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia president Tan Sri Pheng Yin Huah.