PUTRAJAYA (June 3): The spirit of philanthropy of the late Tan Sri Dr Lee Shin Cheng will live on, said his eldest son, Datuk Lee Yeow Chor.
Yeow Chor, who is the chief executive officer (CEO) of IOI Corporation Bhd and chairman of the Malaysian Palm Oil Council, said his late father was actively engaged in educational and community welfare activities for the last 25 years through the Yayasan Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng, which he founded in 1994.
"Over the last 25 years, he had established the charitable Yayasan Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng and had contributed to various educational and community welfare initiatives.
"Our family members have to some extent been involved with him and to personally carry out these activities. We shared his passion about education, community welfare and helping others. The family will carry on his legacy, either personally or through Yayasan Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng," he said.
Yeow Chor was met at the wake service of his late father held at the family’s residence in Diamond Hill, IOI Resort City, here today.
The late Lee, the grand patriarch and founder of local conglomerate IOI Group, was well-known for his contribution to Malaysia's oil palm industry and as a philanthropist.
Holding his tears back, Yeow Chor said his late father would have reached 80 years old today and had planned to retire at the age of 80.
Lee reportedly breathed his last at 8.30pm on Saturday after a period of illness. He left behind a wife, six children and 12 grandchildren.
His other son, Lee Yeow Seng, is married to the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin and is the CEO of IOI Properties Bhd. His daughter, Lee Yoke Har, is an executive director at IOI Properties.
Yeow Chor said people from all walks of life paid their respects to his late father, recalling a moment when his late father’s personality became an inspiration for others.
"Last evening, one of our friends came from Ipoh and we invited their Indian driver to have dinner together. He was quiet for quite some time. After that he suddenly told me 'your father was a hero to me’.
"The Indian man only met my father once and said that to me because he had read about his life story and his contributions. This showed his life story became an inspiration to many others," he said.
He added the family members were glad to have spent valuable moments with Lee during the last one year when he was ill, adding that his father passed away peacefully and contented.
Yeow Chor said his late father had zest and passion for life as he was very caring to his friends and people he knew, and also known for his humanity and down-to-earth personality.
Among others, his notable contribution was leading the redevelopment of the 111-year-old Kuen Cheng Secondary School as the chairman of its board of directors over the last 20 years.
Through Yayasan Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng, he also contributed to the entire development of Shin Cheng (Harcroft) Primary School in Puchong, Selangor.
Yeow Chor said his late father took the responsibility to develop Kuen Cheng because it was entrusted by his mentor and old friend, the late Tan Sri Wong Tok Chai.
He said Lee was a hands-on top manager in the corporate sector, and he accorded the same dedication and attention in the community service.
Lee’s wake will be held from today until Wednesday at No 8, Lingkungan 3, Diamond Hill, IOI Resort City, Putrajaya, between noon and 4pm, and from 6pm to 10pm.
At 11am on Thursday, the cortege will leave for the Nilai Memorial Park and is scheduled to arrive there at 1pm.