KUALA LUMPUR: A host of visitors, including royalty as well as political, government and corporate leaders, has joined thousands in paying their last respects to YTL Corporation founder Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay at the family’s residence here.
Among them was the Raja of Perlis Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Putra Jamalullail.
Also there yesterday were Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.
“The late Tan Sri Yeoh was truly an iconic entrepreneur. He has left a lasting legacy to his organisation, community and nation.
“May his soul rest in peace,” Najib wrote in the condolence book after paying his last respects.
Former MCA president Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik described Yeoh as a great builder of the nation, not only in construction but also the tourism sector.
“He put Malaysia on the map and it is also because of him that world-renowned singers have visited and performed in Malaysia.Malaysia has lost one of its best sons,” he said.
Outgoing China ambassador to Malaysia Dr Huang Huikang, who called Yeoh a dear friend of the Chinese Embassy and of his, said the tycoon-philanthropist’s death was too sudden.
“We had a good chat during my farewell dinner on Oct 10 and I promised to return to Malaysia in December next year to attend his birthday celebration.
“And now, we are truly sad to receive news of his demise,” he said, adding that he had many happy memories of the entrepreneur during his four-year stint in the country.
He also noted the excellence of Hua Hin High School in Klang under Yeoh’s care.
“When I attended the school’s 70th anniversary celebration, I saw for myself his contributions to Chinese education,” Dr Huang said.
Other dignitaries who paid their last respects yesterday were former deputy prime minister Tun Musa Hitam, the Prime Minister’s special envoy to China Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting, DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, and Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Malaysia president Tan Sri Ter Leong Yap.
Former Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, Wanita MCA chief Datuk Heng Seai Kie, tycoons Tan Sri Vincent Tan and Tan Sri Lim Gait Tong, and actor-DJ Jack Lim were also at the wake.
Guests were served food from JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton, both of which are under YTL Hotels, the hospitality arm of the corporation.
Today is the last day of Yeoh’s wake. A funeral service will be held at 10am tomorrow before his cortege leaves for his final resting place at Nilai Memorial Park.