Sunway City, 4 August 2017 – Sunway Group founder and chairman Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr Jeffrey Cheah AO has been conferred the ASEAN@50 Lifetime Achievement Award by the ASEAN-Business Advisory Council Malaysia (ASEAN-BAC), which was presented by Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak, at the ASEAN@50 Commemorative Dinner.
Tan Sri Cheah was recognised for his vision, exemplary leadership, commitment and outstanding achievements in the field of business through the Sunway Group. Over the past 40 years, Sunway has grown quickly from a small company to one of Malaysia’s leading conglomerates with 15,000 employees across 12 diversified business units in 50 locations worldwide. In addition, Tan Sri Cheah’s contributions to the local social and economic landscape through the rehabilitation of Sunway City from a tin-mining wasteland to a thriving integrated sustainable township was a key achievement highlighted in the selection process.
“I am honoured to receive the ASEAN@50 Lifetime Achievement Award by the ASEAN-BAC. This is particularly meaningful to me as the award comes at a milestone 50th anniversary for ASEAN. As the Sunway Group has grown from strength to strength over the last four decades, sustainability and social responsibility has been an integral part of our business framework as we expand our presence worldwide and work towards a sustainable future. I hope to continue creating positive impact on our communities within Malaysia and beyond,” said Tan Sri Cheah. The award also recognises Tan Sri Cheah’s immense contributions to the fields of education and sustainability. The Sunway Education Group celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, under the helm of the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation (JCF). As a passionate advocate for the vital role that education plays in the progress of the country, Tan Sri Cheah has transferred all his equity in the Sunway Education Group’s learning institutions worth RM1 billion today into the JCF, making it Malaysia’s largest education focused social enterprise. Through the unique structure of the JCF, all operating surpluses are ploughed back into the JCF to be disbursed as scholarships and expansion of faculty and facilities, in perpetuity. Guided by its founding principles of giving to society through education, the JCF has disbursed RM270 million in scholarships, and will be awarding RM57 million by end of this year. It is Tan Sri Cheah’s personal ambition to award RM1 billion in scholarships in his lifetime.
Tan Sri Cheah’s outstanding successes in the field of sustainability is exemplified by the transformation of a land made barren from tin-mining activities into what is now Sunway City, Malaysia’s first fully-integrated green township as recognised by Green Building Index in 2012, and a Low Carbon City by the Malaysian Institute of Planners in 2016. Sunway City is now home to a thriving community of over 200,000, and has seen the sustainable integrated township model successfully adapted across the country, in the lush Sunway City Ipoh, and the upcoming 1,800-acre Sunway Iskandar development. Sunway City is intensifying its efforts through various initiatives which will set the blueprint for future smart cities in Malaysia and the ASEAN region.
Through a strategic partnership initiated by Tan Sri Cheah through the JCF, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development has been launched in Sunway University in December 2016, chaired by renowned economist Professor Jeffrey Sachs. With this commitment towards the advancement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the region, Tan Sri Cheah has now become a champion of the sustainable development agenda in the region — dedicating his life in service to future generations in an effort to build an even better Malaysia and ASEAN.