[PETALING JAYA] One of Malaysia's richest men, Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay, has died aged 88, his family announced on Wednesday (Oct 18).
Tan Sri Yeoh was the founder of the YTL Group of companies, growing it from a construction company in Kuala Selangor in 1955 into an integrated infrastructure developer with businesses ranging from power generation to hotel development.
YTL Corp is among the 30 largest companies listed on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad, forming one of the component companies of the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI of the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI, the stock exchange's primary benchmark index. Its companies include Singapore-listed Starhill Global Reit.
Tan Sri Yeoh was said by Forbes magazines to be worth US$2 billion (S$2.72 billion), making him the seventh richest person in Malaysia.
"We are deeply saddened by the loss of the head of our family, Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay, but comforted that he has gone home to our Lord Jesus Christ. Four generations have had the privilege of enjoying his presence for 88 years and he will be truly missed," his family said in a statement.
Yeoh's family members said that family members and friends can pay their last respects from 7pm on Thursday at 2 Lorong Buloh Perindu 1, Damansara Heights, 59000 Kuala Lumpur.
Managing Director of YTL Corp Francis Yeoh Sock Ping, Yeoh's eldest son, said: "Under his illustrious leadership, the YTL Group expanded from its base in Malaysia to encompass operations and projects across the globe.
"The growth and development of the YTL Group was always rooted in our Chairman's determination to build a strong, responsible and sustainable company for the benefit of his family, employees, business partners and the wider community, and this is his legacy.
"His work ethic was exemplary and his humility is testimony to the great man and leader that he was. We will miss him greatly."
In 2008, Tan Sri Yeoh was conferred the prestigious Order of the Rising Sun by the Emperor of Japan in recognition of his outstanding contribution towards the economic cooperation and friendship between Japan and Malaysia, including his efforts as an executive member and Vice-President of the Malaysia-Japan Economic Association.
He had a deep passion for philanthropy and served as the Chairman of YTL Foundation, and also devoted much of his time to numerous other philanthropic organisations.
Education was especially close to his heart as his wife, Puan Sri Tan Kai Yong, was a teacher. He served as Chairman on the Board of Governors of his alma mater, Hin Hua High School Klang, and spearheaded its transformation into one of the best independent Chinese secondary schools in the country, He also served on the Board of Governors of Kuen Cheng Girls School and SRJK(C) Jalan Davidson, and was the Honorary Chairman of Tung Shin Hospital.
A prominent and well-respected leader in the Chinese community, Tan Sri Yeoh held the positions of Honorary President of the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry Malaysia, Honorary President of the Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce; Honorary President of the Federation of Hokkien Associations of Malaysia, Honorary President of the Selangor Kim Mooi Association, and was Adviser to the Kuala Selangor Chinese Chamber of Commerce.
He is survived by his wife, Kai Yong, his seven children Francis, Datuk Yeoh Soo Min, Datuk Victor Yeoh Seok Kian, Datuk Yeoh Seok Hong, Datuk Seri Michael Yeoh Sock Siong, Datuk Yeoh Soo Keng, Datuk Mark Yeoh Seok Kah, 27 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK