Charitable Malaysians make Forbes list

Charitable Malaysians make Forbes list
Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary.

PETALING JAYA - Four Malaysians have made it into the Forbes Asia Heroes of Philanthropy list, which highlights 48 notable philanthropists in the Asia-Pacific region.

Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary, AirAsia chief Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, The Body Shop Malaysia managing director Datin Mina Cheah-Foong and MBf Holdings chief executive officer Tan Sri Dr Ninian Mogan Lourdenadin are among those included in the magazine's annual list of top philanthropists.

Forbes Asia said Syed Mokhtar had donated US$500million (S$625 million) to help those devastated by natural disasters around the world.

"The beneficiaries have included refugees in Pakistan, orphanages in Guinea and rehabilitation programmes for disaster victims in China, Indonesia and Iran.

"Meanwhile, Fernandes' AirAsia Foundation has raised more than US$2million for survivors of November's Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines to rebuild housing and help people start convenience stores in their homes," it said in a statement yesterday.

Cheah-Foong, 54, was chosen for her work in assisting the transgender, sex worker and gay communities as well as offering legal support and shelter for domestic violence victims.

She has also been involved in many environmental initiatives such as the "Kick the Bag Habit" campaign that led to a state levy on the use of plastic bags.

Ninian, 60, has contributed US$15million over the past decade to charities dedicated to education and healthcare for children and Hindu temples in Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and Fiji.

The Heroes of Philanthropy list highlights the Asia-Pacific region's notable philanthropists, ranging from billionaires with expansive visions of how best to help society to less well-known business people.

Other honoraries include Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim, who donated a total of US$2.4million, and Chua Thian Poh, who has donated at least US$10million towards college-level education since 2008.

Australian billionaires Andrew Forrest and James Packer, who have made donations for various causes including education and art, were also in the list.

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