Four make Forbes Asia’s Heroes of Philanthropy list

  • Nation
  • Friday, 06 Mar 2009

PETALING JAYA: Four Malaysians have made Forbes Asia’s latest Heroes of Philanthropy list which honours leading givers in the Asia-Pacific region.

The four, named in the magazine’s March 16 issue, are Tun Ahmadshah Abdullah, Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah, Tan Sri Lim Kok Wing and Datin Raya Erom.

Sabah Yang di-Pertua Negri Ahmadshah, 62, was cited for a foundation he started in 2004 in his own name that provides financial aid of about RM48,000 a year to the needy.

The Tun Ahmadshah Foundation awards scholarships and funds educational programmes for underprivileged students while also taking care of the welfare of single mothers, orphans and victims of tragedy.

Cheah, the Sunway Group chairman, was credited with awarding some RM43mil in college scholarships through the Sunway Education Trust Fund set up in 1997.

He also donated RM10mil last year, mostly for building and repairing primary and secondary schools.

Cheah, 63, plans to turn the trust fund into the Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah Foundation, to be modelled after the Harvard Foundation.

Lim, 62, who founded the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, has contributed and organised fundraising for, among other things, fighting AIDS and apartheid.

He also provides scholarships, disabled student services, and gave RM80,000 last year to the “Plight of Palestinians: From Grim to Bleak” fund.

Raya Erom, 46, is chairman of Kebajikan Suria Foundation, which has helped more than 1,000 children throughout Sabah. She also donated RM133,000 last year in cash and goods.

She is the wife of former Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Salleh Tun Said and the daughter-in-law of former Sabah Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Said Keruak.

Raya Erom’s foundation will also be setting up a women’s counselling division to address career challenges, depression, infertility and abuse.

This second edition of the Forbes philanthropy list identified 48 people from across the Asia-Pacific. Among them are Chinese recycling tycoon Cheng Guangbiao, Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing, India’s Sunil Mittal, Thailand’s “condom king” Mechai Viraivaidya, James Riady from Indonesia and Manuel V. Pangilinan from the Philippines.

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