KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 3): Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah has been named one of Forbes Asia’s “Asia’s 2019 Heroes of Philanthropy”, marking the third time the Sunway Group founder and chairman is included in the annual list, as well as the only Malaysian to do so this year.
Cheah, who first made the definitive list in 2009 and then in 2015, is also the first Malaysian to have had the honour for three years, Sunway said in a statement today.
The list highlights 30 of the most generous and impactful philanthropists across the Asia Pacific region that are committed to solving some of the region’s most pressing issues.
Forbers Asia made the selection after analysing dozens of candidates, evaluating them from aspects such as monetary contributions, the depth of their involvement and the reach of their philanthropic efforts.
“This year’s list also features, amongst others, co-founder and former executive chairman of Alibaba Group Jack Ma and Wipro’s chairman Azmin Premji.
“The list, as every year, features new entries and honourees who have achieved significant development that justifies a relisting,” Sunway said.
Cheah, who founded the Sunway Group in 1974, is also the founder and trustee of the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation, Malaysia’s largest education-focused social enterprise that has disbursed more than RM482 million in scholarships as of this year.
His personal goal is to award more than RM1 billion worth of scholarships in his lifetime, Sunway said.
“As an ardent enthusiast of quality education for socio-economic growth towards fostering peace and prosperity in the country, Cheah has chosen to focus on democratising education as his legacy.
“Fulfilling his personal life philosophy to “aspire to inspire before I expire,” he had transferred, in perpetuity, the equity and rights of Sunway Education Group’s (SEG) educational institutions, worth several billion ringgit today, into the foundation,” Sunway added.