Westports founder and executive chairman G. Gnanalingam passes away at 78

Tan Sri G Gnanalingam

KUALA LUMPUR: Westports Holdings Bhd's founder and executive chairman Tan Sri Gnanalingam Gunanath Lingam has passed away at 78.

Westports announced in a filing with Bursa Malaysia that Gnanalingam passed away peacefully today, at the age of 78.

“Gnanalingam was the founder of the company and a source of inspiration; he touched our lives and the community with his compassion, generosity and kindness. His vision and stewardship of the company have built and transformed Westports and Port Klang into the preeminent gateway port in Malaysia and one of the transhipment hubs in south-East Asia.

“In this time of grief, we extend our deepest and heartfelt condolences to Gnanalingam’s family,” it said.

Gnanalingam was appointed as director of the company on Jan 1, 2009 and as the executive chairman on Sept 1, 2013.

He was also the executive chairman of Westports Malaysia Sdn Bhd (WMSB), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company, a position he has held since 2000. Prior to that, he was the managing director of WMSB from 1995 to 1999.

Gnanalingam attended the Royal Military College from 1960 until 1964 before obtaining his Bachelor of Arts Degree from University of Malaya in 1968.

He was also an alumni of the Harvard Business School in Boston, USA, having attended the School’s Advanced Management Programme in 1983.

In 1994, Gnanalingam successfully secured the concession to operate Westports.

His efforts were recognised when he was named Transport Man of the Year in 2001 by the Ministry of Transport.

In 2007, he received the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Platinum Award, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) Malaysia Achiever of the Year Award and was admitted as a Chartered Fellow by the CILT, UK.

He was also presented with the Outstanding American Alumnus Award 2007 in the field of Logistics and Transport by the American Universities Alumni Malaysia.

In 2017, Gnanalingam was awarded as the Value Creator: Most Outstanding CEO by the Edge Billion Ringgit Club for his visionary leadership excellence in transforming Westports as Port Klang’s leading terminal operator.

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