KUALA LUMPUR, July 7 — Four Malaysians, including two women, have been recognised as among Asia’s “Heroes of Philanthropy” by US magazine Forbes today.

Datuk Anne Eu, the lady boss of Asia’s largest Chinese medicine company Eu Yan Sang, earned praise for both her business acumen as well as for her charitable nature, having set up various foundations and spearheading campaigns to help the less fortunate after she had to take over the company when her husband died nine years ago.

“Two years ago when Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 went missing and she discovered that only passengers’ families would be compensated but not the crew’s, she started the Flagbearer Education Foundation and pledged US$120,000 (RM482,562) to support their children’s education.

“That year she also spent months organising the Richard Clayderman charity event to raise US$300,000 for cancer research and education through the Joseph William Yee Eu Foundation, named after her late husband,” according to the entry in the magazine.

The 61-year-old took over the publicly-listed company back in 2007 when her husband of 30 years passed away.

Under her leadership, the multinational company expanded beyond traditional Chinese medicine and now has a presence in nine countries.

Eu was also responsible for creating the Roti 1Malaysia initiative, which collects leftover food from 5-star restaurants and reallocates it for the poor.

“Philanthropy is a mind-set. It is not just about donating money. It is also about sharing ability and knowledge, raising awareness and pooling resources to better a particular condition for humanity.

“By involving the young, we are grooming their minds to be empathetic, caring and giving to become better future leaders,” she was quoted as saying by Forbes.

Also recognised on the list of philanthropy heroes were Kepong Bhd chairman Tan Sri Lee Oi Hian, for his work in funding the education of up to 60 students, and his wife, Daybreak executive chairman Puan Sri Sandra Lee for her efforts in rehabilitating physically and mentally challenged people.

Mah Sing Group managing director Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum, 59, was also commended for his company’s disbursement of over US$2.5 million to fund educational initiatives and relief aid in Nepal following the devastating earthquake in the Himalayan country last year, as well as other nations.