Kuala Lumpur, 18 March 2004
When three-time Formula One world champion and director of Jaguar Racing Sir Jackie Stewart met up with YTL Corporation managing director Tan Sri (Dr.) Francis Yeoh at the resplendent Chairman Suite overlooking the Kuala Lumpur skyline in JW Marriott Hotel, YTL Community gets an intimate insight of the close friendship they share.
Sir Jackie had only just returned that morning from Bahrain after attending the launch of Formula One circuit in Bahrain at the invitation of His Majesty King Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. Knowing his hectic schedule, especially on a Formula One Grand Prix week, the Bahrain royal family sent Sir Jackie a private jet to ensure minimal disruption to his precious schedule.
During their friendly banter, Sir Jackie told Yeoh that he was thankful for the support YTL is providing Jaguar Racing at the Malaysian Grand Prix. YTL announced its relationship with Jaguar Racing as an associate partner on March 17th. During the press conference to announce the partnership, Yeoh revealed the one of the reasons besides promoting the ‘Malaysia Boleh’ spirit and to elevate Kuala Lumpur city as an iconic Grand Prix city, was his friendship with Sir Jackie, who convinced Yeoh to form the relationship with Jaguar Racing.
Later, Sir Jackie presented Yeoh with a gift. “This is a Scottish quaich, spelt q-u-a-i-c-h,” he explained carefully to his Malaysian friend after reading out the inscription on the cup. “In the old days, you pour Scotch whisky into it and you offer it to your guest. He will drink from one side and give it back and so you drink from your side. You then pass it round the table, which will then finish up the Scotch whisky,” he offered.
The quaich was made of solid silver and like all silver products from the United Kingdom, it had a hallmark; this was one with a distinctive Scottish hallmark – which was different from the London hallmark – to verify the purity of the silver. The gift had additional sentimental value when Sir Jackie gave more information about the hallmark on the quaich. “This one is unique because I registered my own hallmark using my own racing helmet,” he said, pointing out how he had personalised the quaich as a gift to a good friend.
Sir Jackie also shared with Yeoh, the award of honour that he received in Bahrain. In appreciation of his tireless effort to bring Formula One in Bahrain, which will materialise when the first Bahrain Grand Prix begins on April 4th, the government of Bahrain bestowed the award upon Sir Jackie.
Later, Sir Jackie told YTL Community that he loved Malaysia. “I’ve been to Malaysia so many times now. I love your country,” he enthused, before continuing to explain, “The warmth here… and this time of the year because when I left UK, is was very cold at this period. I’ve had great friendships in Malaysia. Many, many people that I’ve really come close to and who I enjoy very much. Among his many friends in Malaysia include former prime minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamed.
When Sir Jackie came to Malaysia for the Grand Prix last year,?he spent several days in Pangkor Laut Resort. At an interview then, he mentioned that he had enjoyed the resort very much and promised that he would bring his wife the next time he returned. Lady Helen was with him during this trip and the couple would visit Pangkor Laut Resort, accompanied by their good friend Yeoh, after the race on Sunday.