Infrastructure, stresses Yeoh, can help provide jobs for today as well as tomorrow. “China has been spending money on building infrastructure, including fast trains. Without such infrastructure, could Alibaba have delivered US$17 billion worth of goods on its Singles Day (sending out over 600 million packages within three days)? You can see here how a traditional business like infrastructure backs the new digital business.”...
Tan Sri Francis Yeoh, managing director of YTL Corp Bhd is the first Malaysian winner of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year (EOY) award in 2002, as well as chief judge of the World EOY in 2011. This year, he is returning to the global entrepreneurship competition in Monte Carlo as a keynote speaker.
Reminiscing about that win 15 years ago — one of many accolades he has received as he built up his family's business empire after taking over the reins from his father in 1988 — he says: "I normally don't like to accept accolades and I reject many. I don't like to talk about myself. I prefer to talk about God and give him glory. But it was EY and I did it because EY is a great international organisation that stands for transparency and integrity, is known for its credibility, for promoting entrepreneurship, and they do it very transparently. They thought I had a story to tell and nominated me. I was honoured and [the experience] was fascinating."
Through his experience with EOY, his respect for entrepreneurs has grown as he saw the creativity of their ideas, how they sustained themselves and kept on providing jobs. Which is why, to him, "we must continue to promote their stories, and promote their stories well, so that hopefully we will encourage a culture of entrepreneurship".
To young entrepreneurs today, he says: "Don't have too much clutter in your head, just have faith in God and don't give up. It's never going to be easy, and don't expect it to be. But if you work very hard and are willing to learn from existing entrepreneurs, I don't think you will do that badly. And nowadays, with the tools we have, there is no excuse for anybody to be an idiot. You may not know the answers but you must know to ask the right questions. The answers are there, they are in your handphone."...
"Each of these three awards are very significant in their own way," said Vicedomini. "Sir Francis Yeoh is a true supporter of the arts on a global basis; Andrea Bocelli is a world-class performer whose new album is a tribute to the music of cinema, and the score of 'La La Land' is impactful and memorable and set the tone for this year's movie music. We are thrilled to be honoring them at Capri, Hollywood."
Tan Sri Dr Francis Yeoh said, "I am humbled and honored to receive this award. Music is a powerful medium to unite a hurting world. I give our Lord Jesus Christ all the glory!"...
Tan Sri Francis Yeoh was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for Leadership in Regulated Industries at the 7th World Chinese Economic Summit (WCES), held in London recently. The prestigious annual event brought together over 200 policy-makers, entrepreneurs, researchers and thought-leaders from around the world to discuss topics around the key theme, ‘China and the World: Forging Euro-Asian Partnerships towards Shared Prosperity’.
Honoured to be recognised with such a prestigious award, Tan Sri (Dr) Francis Yeoh said, "I thank my Lord Jesus Christ for this award and recognition and I continue to strive to be a good steward of all that He has blessed me with."...
"It was a very difficult project to turn around. When we first saw the place, there were many abandoned apartments that were built halfway. It looked like a bomb site," he says. "But after studying the area intimately, I found a lot in Sentul to celebrate — its colourful past, the Indian culture there; its spice of life."
Many had advised him not to use the Sentul name for the redeveloped site due to the negative connotations of its shady past. He had other ideas. "I did some research on Sentul. Sentul is a name of a tree (sandori-cum koet jape)! Voila, I discovered that most Malaysian towns are named after trees. Ipoh is named after a tree, and so are Penang and Melaka. How on earth were our predecessors so clever to name our towns after trees? And how does the mind associate a place [like Sentul] with the worse of human flaws and crime?"
He decided to rehabilitate the area's good name. Yeoh divided the land into Sentul East, where the condominiums are named after spices like Tamarind, Capers, Fennel and Saffron; and Sentul West, where projects are named after trees, like The Maple....
Tan Sri (Dr) Francis Yeoh was bestowed the Lifetime Achievement Award at The Peak’s 25th Anniversary held at the Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur.
Honoured to be recognised with such a prestigious award, Tan Sri (Dr) Francis Yeoh said: "First and foremost I must congratulate The Peak Magazine for having survived 25 years, despite a digital revolution in the media world. The digital revolution has beaten to pulp many old print businesses but they (The Peak) seemed to have survived these past 25 years.
"I must congratulate Dato' Ibrahim, Datin Azliza and Diana Khoo for their perseverance and the consistent quality they have kept in this magazine to continue to attract advertisers in a very tough time in the media space where digital media seems to rule supreme.
"I'd like to consecrate this award recognising my achievements to our Lord Jesus Christ who deserves all the glory and honour – not me. He is the author of the script and I am just a willing pencil."
Life Inspired talks to a Christian business leader on how his Christmas journey is a lifelong quest. Tan Sri (Dr) Francis Yeoh is well known not only as head of one of Malaysia’s most successful family businesses, but also for his uncompromising stand on his Christian values in every aspect. Yeoh had decided to become a Christian when he was 16. He was the first in his family to do so, eventually leading the rest of the family too.
“The Christian markers along our journeys are important but to summarize them takes away the countless little things from the whole tapestry,” he says.
“When we walk with Christ, it’s a long journey. There are a trillion miracles in our lives. It’s difficult to place one marker over the other, as each has led me nearer to God. And that doesn’t mean I am more holy, but being more aware of my sins and being humble and less judgmental of others. God is so glorious I am more conscious of my own inadequacies.
In that way, I am able to bear the nine fruits of the spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. When I love God with all my heart and soul the only is it possible for me to love my neighbours.
“Yes, I do have more of such fruits than I did at 16 but I am not perfect and I never stop repenting. My journey is a combination of countless tests and failures and getting up again. I am but a pencil that God uses.”...
Francis Yeoh, managing director of YTL Corp, said: "The regulatory framework is not there to welcome investors into the infrastructure sector. The infrastructure, today in ASEAN, and Asia, substantially, is subsidised. They are lulled like a boiled frog into thinking they don't have to pay for water and electricity at competitive prices. As a result, they get very bad services. They get water (that is) turning brown, the leakage of water is 50 per cent, and they don't know how to solve that."...
As the head of YTL Corporation and the driving force behind one of Asia’s most successful businesses, Tan Sri Francis Yeoh has become an icon on the Malaysian economic front. From changing Kuala Lumpur’s retail landscape, particularly the famed Bukit Bintang area, building significant landmarks, notching several firsts in various sectors to bringing Malaysia to the world through YTL’s major investments abroad, he is acknowledged as one of Malaysia’s most influential corporate figures.
Guided by Faith It is a known fact that Yeoh holds true to his faith and it is probably the reason that YTL has grown a reputation as being a corporation with integrity and which sticks to its principles. “To make anything work in this life, for so-called success, it takes a trillion probabilities. It is impossible to put it together and claim that you did it or that you planned it. Everything is called God’s tapestry and he embroiders people, time and probabilities together. People always ask me what my secret of success is and I give back the truth humbly and truthfully; my secret is the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Yeoh sums up his thoughts on happiness, “What do we know about beauty in our lives? Those who chase the wrong end of the stick, who chase after material things will end up being disappointed. Humans like to chase after happiness, not God, but if you chase after happiness you end up being very sad Happiness is a by-product of chasing God.“...
Francis Yeoh's broad perspectives are the takeaways from his insatiable intellectual appetite.With such a weighty portfolio on his back, those who aren't well-acquainted with Yeoh might not have guessed the aggressive reader that he is, nor how he makes time for the hobby.
His penchant for reading is telling of his wiring and ideologies. The man is an intellectual, with the uncanny ability to make random scientific points appealing.
"Did you know that people used plants to tell time' before it was invented the way we know it?"
"Have you ever wondered why waves are humbled on the beach?"
He actually knows the answers.
Yeoh's study at home, where this conversation takes place, is lined with tall wooden shelves that house his precious books. Neat stacks of books sit on his desk and the coffee table, the majority of them not contemporary. Most are great literary works of the 1700s to 1900s; Charles Spurgeon, CS Lewis, Charles Wesley, John Stott, you name it, Yeoh is well acquainted with their work. "These are great minds who have spent their lives talking to scientists, trying to find answers to the great mysteries of science, and finding God in the answers," he says.
Some of these books were bid at auctions, and from the look of some of them very, very archaic Yeoh has spent a fortune on the collection. They have been a worthwhile purchase for him, food for his voracious appetite for knowledge and a deeper understanding of his spiritual journey. "Which book can you read a thousand times over and still find fascinating?" he says in reference to the Christian Bible.
And he is highly selective, only reading books of authors whose lives he deems worthy of his attention. The discerning reader enjoys the work of Chicago award-winning Lee Strobel, a cynical attorney-turned-journalist who wrote two powerful books debunking the concept of evolution and explaining the Big Bang Theory after interviewing Christian scientists around the world. Yeoh read fiction in his youth but finds that those authors are unable to sustain his intellectual curiosity. "It can't complete me," he says. "When there is so much wonder in this world, so much to take in, I'm sorry, I don't have the time for anything less."...