PUTRAJAYA: The life of IOI Group founder and executive chairman Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng should serve as an inspiration for young Malaysians, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
“He will always be remembered. It is hoped that the younger generation will find inspiration in his life,” said the MCA president when met after paying his last respects to Lee at his wake held at Lee’s home here, yesterday.
Dr Wee, who led a delegation of MCA leaders, described Lee’s death as “a great loss to the nation”.
“He was not only a well-known corporate figure but an icon in the palm oil industry and management,” he said.
Dr Wee said Lee would also be remembered for his contributions towards education development, including helping to rebuild Chinese schools.
Others who were present were former party president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and secretary-general Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun.
SJK (C) Shin Cheng (Harcroft) board of directors chairman Dr Kow Cheong Wei described Lee as a “role model for the development of Chinese education”.
“He was unlike other philanthropists. He not only provided funds to rebuild the school but also took a personal interest in its construction,” he said.
Dr Kow said Lee would drop by the project site to monitor the construction of the school in Puchong, which was renamed after him.
He also noted that Lee was instrumental in the redevelopment of the 111-year-old Kuen Cheng secondary school.
Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia president Tan Sri Pheng Yin Huah said Lee’s death was a great loss to the nation, especially the Chinese community.
“It was shocking as he was supposed to celebrate his birthday today (yesterday),” he said.
Eco World Development Group Bhd chairman Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin said Lee led a remarkable life that only a few could dream to emulate.
“His rise from humble beginnings to founding a great business empire and giving back to society will take its place in the history of corporate Malaysia.
“He will be sorely missed,” Liew said.
DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang said the country needed more individuals such as Lee.
“If Malaysia is to fulfil its vision to become a world top-class nation in every field of human endeavours, then we must create conditions in a New Malaysia where Lee is not a rarity but a commonplace in the country,” he said in a statement.
Lim was among several DAP leaders, including Deputy Defence Minister Liew Chin Tong, who paid their last respects to Lee.