KUALA LUMPUR: In honour of Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay’s legacy as an extraordinary tycoon and a selfless philanthropist, the Yeoh family decided to donate RM8mil to charity.
His eldest son Tan Sri Francis Yeoh presented the cheques to non-profit organisations and schools at the patriarch’s funeral yesterday, which was attended by more than 3,000 people.
“Supporting education had been very close to my father’s heart as he wanted everyone to have access to higher education – something he was unable to receive.
“These organisations represent Malaysians from all walks of life, reflecting his deep love for the country and his lifetime commitment to building this nation,” Francis said.
The family hoped the contribution would honour the memory and life of the YTL Group founder, who passed away at the age of 88 on Wednesday morning.
A total of RM6.1mil was handed out to 29 organisations yesterday, while the remaining RM1.9mil would be donated to 19 other organisations at a later date.
A solemn procession left the Yeoh residence in Damansara Heights at 1pm yesterday.
The cortege passed by YTL Group’s landmark buildings in Sentul, Jalan Tun Razak and Bukit Bintang.
Staff of JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur, Starhill Gallery and Lot 10 – all under the group – lined the streets to bid farewell to Tiong Lay, who was later laid to rest at the Nilai Memorial Park.
In his eulogy at the funeral service earlier, Francis said diligence was in Tiong Lay’s DNA and he had worked hard his entire life.
He recalled a conversation with his father during the oil crisis in the early days of his career.
“He told me he tried very hard and he apologised for not being able to give us a better life.
“At that time, all my relatives and his employees pawned everything to save the company. They loved him and they believed in him.
“My father taught me the value of people, family and extended family and that has become the DNA of YTL,” Francis said.
Over 12,000 people – including royalty, government leaders and corporate figures – paid their last respects to Yeoh throughout the four-day wake.
The business magnate is survived by his wife Puan Sri Tan Kai Yong, seven children, 27 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.