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Action star Jackie Chan is no stranger to giving back, and now he has announced that he plans to donate seven historical Chinese houses to a university being set up in Singapore.

According to Chan’s property manager, Simon Kwan, the houses date back to the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties and are worth more than 100 million Singapore dollars (US$67 million).

“[Jackie Chan] loves Singapore,” said Kwan. “He thinks it’s the best place to donate his houses to provide education and let the people appreciate them.”

Singapore’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, George Yeo, has welcomed the donation.

“Mr Jackie Chan has offered to donate some old Chinese houses from the Ming and Qing period to Singapore. I know Mr Chan through my wife because he has been helping her on children’s cancer as a Goodwill Ambassador of VIVA Foundation. I am very excited about the offer as it comes at a time when we are actively exploring a tie-up between our New University and a leading Chinese university. This collaboration initiative was agreed to between Premier Wen Jiabao and PM Lee Hsien Loong during their meeting in Beijing last October.

“The Chinese houses would be a wonderful symbol of this proposed partnership. These houses can be nicely incorporated in the master plan of our New University. Mr Chan has discussed this offer with our Education Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen, who responded enthusiastically. He has also been shown the proposed site of the New University in the East Coast by Mr Philip Ng, Chairman of the New University Steering Committee. Mr Chan liked the location and thought that an educational institution was a fitting place where these Chinese houses could be enjoyed by generations of students and members of the public. We are aware that approval from the Chinese authorities is required for the transfer of the houses and have raised this matter with them.”

The university will open in 2010.

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