Yeoh Tiong Lay
From Malaysia Factbook
|Yeoh Tiong Lay was ranked the 7th richest man in Malaysia and the 503th richest man in the world in 2013.|
Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay (born 1929, age 85) is a Malaysian business tycoon who founded the YTL Corporation, a Malaysian conglomerate, with diversified interests in construction, utilities, hotels, property development, and technology. One of the richest man in Malaysia, Forbes ranked him as the 503th richest man in the world in 2013, with a net worth of US$2.8 billion. Yeoh Tiong Lay is the father of Tan Sri Dr. Francis Yeoh, the eldest of his 7 children, all of whom are involved in the family business.
In January 2008, Yeoh was conferred the prestigious Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, by the Emperor of Japan for his efforts in promoting bilateral relations between Malaysia and Japan.
2. Brief biography: Yeoh Tiong Lay was born in Kampung Attap in Klang, Selangor to a Chinese immigrant from the Fujian province of China who arrived in British Malaya in 1920. After completing his studies at Hin Hua High School in Klang, Selangor, he subsequently started a building and construction firm in 1955, then aged 25, and incorporated it as Yeoh Tiong Lay Sdn Bhd, 17 years later in 1972. The company almost went bust in the aftermath of the 1971 oil crisis.
Yeoh Tiong Lay's eldest son, Tan Sri Francis Yeoh, recalled: "It was a very difficult time. Those days, there weren't fluctuation clauses for contractors. My father had called me and my siblings to his room and said, 'Listen, I'm so sorry, I let you guys down. We probably won't be very comfortable from now on, but we must pay every single bill'." The trying times also brought to the surface the loyalty and support the family had won from its workers. Many of the workers (as well as relatives) pawned their jewelry to raise funds to keep the business going. "That was very touching for me. To see my father's influence and the love people had for him. That is how I learnt that the greatest asset in a company is the people," he said.
When Francis Yeoh offered to quit school to help his father run his business during the difficult years of the 1970s, Yeoh Tiong Lay disagreed, saying: "You can outdo me and grandpa. We work so hard but we have no academics. You go to the university, set a good example for your siblings to follow and then, we can have a future. Then only can you grow this business, into its third generation, into something huge and permanent. Francis Yeoh then went on to study at Kingston Polytechnic (now known as Kingston University) in the United Kingdom and graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Hons) degree in Civil Engineering in In 1978.
In 1984, Yeoh Tiong Lay Sdn Bhd became a public company, and Yeoh Tiong Lay became its Executive Chairman in January the following year. In May that year, he co-founded and became the inaugural Chairman of the ASEAN Constructors' Federation ("ACF"), an organization comprising contractor associations in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. In June, Yeoh was conferred by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong the Panglima Setia Mahkota (P.S.M.) award, which carries the title "Tan Sri".
Yeoh's eldest son, Francis Yeoh, became the Managing Director of YTL Corporation in 1988, 3 years after the formation of the public company. Under his stewardship, the YTL Group grew from a single-listed entity to 5 public-listed companies and is, today, one of the biggest conglomerates in Malaysia. Of this, Francis Yeoh said of his father: "Some Chinese patriarchs do not let go of the rein of power. This is always disastrous because the patriarch hangs on to his old ways and may not be able to cope with the changing world. This has actually brought generations of people or businesses down. My dad knew when he had to do this."
In 1988, Yeoh Tiong Lay was conferred an Honorary Doctorate in Engineering by the Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, United Kingdom. He was the first Malaysian builder to be awarded the Honorary Doctorate by the university. Yeoh was conferred another honorary doctorate degree in 2002, this time an Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy (Business Administration) by University Malaysia Sabah (UNIMAS). He was appointed UNIMAS Pro-Chancellor in September 2005. more... at Chronology