KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 — The founder of YTL Group of companies, Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay, who was also  the Executive Chairman of YTL Corporation Bhd and YTL Power International Bhd, passed away peacefully today at 88.

“We are greatly saddened by the loss of my beloved father and founder of the YTL Group,” Tan Sri Francis Yeoh Sock Ping, Managing Director of YTL Corp and eldest son of Tan Sri  Yeoh Tiong Lay said in a statement here today

He said under his father’s illustrious leadership, the YTL Group expanded from its base in Malaysia to encompass operations and projects across the globe.

YTL Group of companies started of as a construction company in Kuala Selangor in 1955 and was turned into an integrated infrastructure developer with operations comprising power generation (in both contracted and merchant markets), water and sewerage services, merchant multi-utilities, communications, construction contracting, property development and investment, manufacturing of cement and other industrial products and supplies, hotel development and management (including restaurant operations), and the provision of consultancy, incubating and advisery services for Internet businesses and Internet-based education solutions and services.

“The growth and development of the YTL Group was always rooted in our Chairman’s determination to build a strong, responsible and sustainable company for the benefit of his family, employees, business partners and the wider community, and this is his legacy. His work ethic was exemplary and his humility is testimony to the great man and leader that he was. We will miss him greatly,” said Francis Yeoh.

Ho Say Keng, Company Secretary, said:  “Tan Sri (Yeoh Tiong Lay) was an advocate of hard work, perseverance and integrity, not just for his family, but for those around him. He treated his employees as his extended family and is recognised for his love, humility and compassion. We could not have asked for a more gracious and supportive Chairman.”

“Yeoh Tiong Lay’s contributions are well-recognised with the conferment of the title of Doctor of Engineering by Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh and his appointment as Honourary Life President of the Master Builders Association of Malaysia in 1988,” said the statement.

He was the co-founder and the first Chairman of the Asean Constructors’ Federation. On Oct 26, 2002, Tiong Lay was conferred the Honourary Doctorate in Philosophy (Business Administration) by Universiti Malaysia Sabah, and he was installed as Pro-Chancellor for Universiti Malaysia Sabah on 1 July 2005. He was the past President and Lifetime member of the International Federation of Asian and Western Pacific Contractors Association, it said.

Among others, Tiong Lay was conferred the prestigious Order of the Rising Sun by the Emperor of Japan in recognition of his outstanding contribution towards the economic cooperation and friendship between Japan and Malaysia, including his efforts as an executive member and Vice President of the Malaysia-Japan Economic Association on Jan 19, 2008.

In  2009,  he was  accorded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards 2009 in recognition of his outstanding entrepreneurial achievements and contribution towards the development of the nation.              

He also had a deep passion for philanthropy and served as the Chairman of YTL Foundation.

As a prominent and well-respected leader in the Chinese community, he held the positions of Honourary President of the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry Malaysia, Honourary President of the Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce; Honourary President of the Federation of Hokkien Associations of Malaysia, Honourary President of the Selangor Kim Mooi Association and was Adviser to the Kuala Selangor Chinese Chamber of Commerce, the company said.

Tiong Lay is survived by his wife, Puan Sri Datin Seri Tan Kai Yong, his seven children, Tan Sri (Dr) Francis Yeoh Sock Ping, Datuk Yeoh Soo Min, Datuk (Dr) Victor Yeoh Seok Kian, Datuk Yeoh Seok Hong, Datuk Sri Michael Yeoh Sock Siong, Datuk Yeoh Soo Keng, Datuk Mark Yeoh Seok Kah, his 27 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

YTL Corp is among the 30 largest companies listed on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd, forming one of the component companies of the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI of the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI, the stock exchange’s primary benchmark index. YTL Corp is the parent company of three other listed entities, YTL Power International Bhd, YTL Land & Development Bhd and YTL Hospitality REIT.

In addition, the YTL Group has a stake in Starhill Global Real Estate Investment Trust, which is listed on the Main Board of the SGX-ST, the Singapore stock exchange, and YTL Corp has also had a secondary listing on the Tokyo Stock Exchange since 1996, the first non-Japanese Asian company to list on the Tokyo exchange. — Bernama