YTL Group founder Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay passes away

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 19, 2017.
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KUALA LUMPUR: Tan Sri Dr Yeoh Tiong Lay, founder of the YTL Group of companies and executive chairman of YTL Corp Bhd and YTL Power International Bhd, passed away peacefully yesterday aged 88.

Tiong Lay started building his business empire at age 22, when he completed his first project and made RM5,000 — a considerably handsome profit at the time in the 1950s. He continued his career in the construction sector and expanded YTL Group’s presence in other areas.

Today, YTL Group is one of the largest conglomerates listed on Bursa Malaysia, with business interests from construction, power generation and hospitality to property development and telecommunication.

The Yeoh family announced the octogenarian’s demise in a media statement yesterday evening. “We are four generations that have had the privilege of enjoying his presence for 88 years and he will be truly missed,” the family said on the loss of their family patriarch.

“We are greatly saddened by the loss of my beloved father and founder of the YTL Group. Under his illustrious leadership, the YTL Group expanded from its base in Malaysia to encompass operations and projects across the globe. 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,” said YTL Corp managing director and the late Yeoh’s eldest son, Tan Sri Dr Francis Yeoh Sock Ping.

“His work ethic was exemplary and his humility is testimony to the great man and leader that he was. We will miss him greatly,” he added.

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

The Yeoh family will be ready to receive family and friends wanting to pay their last respects today from 7pm at 2 Lorong Buloh Perindu 1, Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur. There will be wake services today, tomorrow and on Saturday at 8.30pm.

The funeral service will be on Sunday at 10am. The cortege will leave for the Nilai Memorial Park at noon.