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Many 'firsts' at Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011:Tan Sri (Dr) Francis Yeoh honoured at being the first Asian Chairman of Judges Olivia Lum, first female Entrepreneur crowned at the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011
By Alvin Goh, 8 June 2011
Olivia Lum of Singapore, Group CEO and President of Hyflux Limited was made this year's World Entrepreneur of the Year. Thanking her Lord Jesus Christ and various "angels" in her life, Ms Lum also wished that her award will encourage more women entrepreneurs to participate in the competition. But unbeknownst to her, she had become the first female winner of this award in its 25 years history.

Apart from Ms Lum, there was also another 'first' in this year's World Entrepreneur of the Year. Tan Sri (Dr) Francis Yeoh, Managing Director of YTL Group of Companies was the Chairman of Judges and the first Asian to preside over a judging panel that was made up of illustrious entrepreneurs from around the world.

Chairman of the Judges, Dr Yeoh gave a speech and actually congratulated all 49 entrepreneurs for championing business as a force for good. “The judges were genuinely impressed by how much these entrepreneurs are turning the world upside down! I wish we could clone every single one of them hundred times,” he said later.

"It is a very rare privilege for me to preside over the judging of the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year. I speak for my fellow judges, when I say that being a judge was never boring. In fact, it was one of the most productive things we have done in the short space of two days. We found ourselves enlightened, overwhelmed and inspired by 49 compelling stories. Entrepreneurs who make this world a much better place with their passion, vision and determination!"

Commenting on Ms Lum's success, Dr Yeoh emphasised that none of the judges knew that there had never been a female winner in the history of the award. There were various criteria in the judging process but they were fully geared towards finding the 'entrepreneur of entrepreneurs' - the Primus Inter Pares or 'First Among Equals'.

Tan Sri (Dr) Francis Yeoh wins CNBC Corporate Social Responsibility Award at CNBC’s 9th Asian Business Leaders Awards 2010
YTL Community, 26 November 2010
“I salute my Lord Jesus Christ and give Him all the honour and credit for this award. I salute all at YTL and fellow nominees for having a heart for Corporate Social Responsibility and for bringing positive change and for incorporating CSR in your DNA rather than being a PR exercise. Thank you very much and God Bless all of you,” said Yeoh when receiving the award.

This year YTL Corporation launched the 'YTL Fellowship for a Rare Planet', a community-based conservation programme that is set to directly benefit environmentally-threatened sites in Malaysia and Asia, home to some of the world’s richest natural resources and most extraordinary species and habitats. The US$ 2 million Fellowship fund is in support of Rare, an international conservation group with success in 50 countries.

The US$ 2 million Fellowship fund is in support of Rare, an international conservation group with success in 50 countries. Over the next four years, the 'YTL Fellowship for a Rare Planet' will run Rare's proven model of training local leaders (Fellows) in Asia, to foster conservation at the community level while improving their livelihoods through what are called Pride campaigns - so named because they inspire people to take pride in the natural assets that make their communities valuable.

Tan Sri Francis Yeoh made Primus Inter Pares (First Among Equals) Honouree of the 2010 Oslo Business for Peace Award
YTL Community News, 25 October 2010
Having been conferred the 2010 Oslo Business for Peace Award – the highest distinction given to a business person for outstanding accomplishments in the area of ethical business - at the fourth annual Oslo Summit on Peace through Trade on Monday evening, Tan Sri (Dr) Francis Yeoh Sock Ping (Francis Yeoh), Managing Director of YTL was subsequently made primus inter pares.

As ‘First Among Equals’, he was selected by Nobel Laureates Professor Muhammad Yunus, Professor Wangari Muta Maathai and Professor A. Michael Spence and business leaders to represent the six other award honourees, including Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Group, and Stef Wertheimer, Honorary Chairman of Iscar Metalworking Company, to address the audience at the awards ceremony.

Emphasizing on the need for business to be “a force for good”, Francis Yeoh encouraged companies to flee “short-termism” and avoid being driven by instant rewards, quick fixes and unethical gains. He also urged companies to adopt corporate social responsibility as part of corporate DNA, instead of mere expediency and gaining media exposure. “I give all the honour and glory to my Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, from Him I derive my passion and purpose to be the salt of the earth and a light of this world. I also wish to thank the Nobel Laureates and everyone associated with this Award for this incredibly humbling experience,” Francis Yeoh said in his address to the audience.

Peers, colleagues and friends from across the globe have offered their congratulations. Madam Ho Ching, Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd said, “The award is recognition of Francis Yeoh’s inspiring leadership, pioneering spirit and dedication to create a dynamic global business group respected not just in Malaysia but around the world.”

In a congratulatory message, Henry Paulson, former United States Treasury Secretary and former Chairman & CEO of Goldman Sachs, and Wendy Paulson, Nature Conservancy Trustee, applaud his leadership in the environmental arena, “bringing attention to issues that affect the whole family of man and the planet, and giving support to initiatives that improve man's relationship to his natural surroundings.”

Andrea Bocelli, Francis Yeoh’s good friend and world renowned tenor said, “I have always believed my dear friend Francis is a genius who loves humanity. This award confirms it. I am so happy for him.”

I shudder to think that I deserve to be in the same room with distinguished men and women who have devoted their lives to shape and preserve the moral fabric of our world; and who walk in the light with considerable cost to their own wellbeing. Which is why, I humbly salute the Nobel Laureates who embody the very best of our humanity. I salute fellow Honourees of this Award, for ‘your’ moral courage and determination to bring dignity and hope to our world, using ethical business to transform mindsets and practices. I also salute the many unsung heroes who champion positive change.

For this reason, we desperately need good governance, the rule of law, and transparent regulatory framework in the global economy to rebuild trust and regain moral integrity. We must promote courageous and responsible leaders to high places. And national governments will gain tremendously from following suit. Economics Nobel Laureate, Joseph Stiglitz said, “The present societal and economic problems are like festering wounds that can only be healed by exposing them to the antiseptic effects of sunlight.... We must restore the balance between the market and the state, between individualism and the community, between man and nature and between means and ends.”

Being a force for good is not a zero-sum game. Not being so is. And it is a zero-sum game to allow evil to triumph and for good men and women to sit back and do nothing. I am incredibly humbled yet uplifted to be here with all of you and to say, with dignity and courage that we are not in the zero-sum game.

YTL's Francis Yeoh wins prestigious award
The Star, 15 October 2010
YTL Corp Bhd managing director Tan Sri Francis Yeoh is one of the seven people named for this year’s Oslo Business for Peace Awards. He will be receiving the award on Monday in Oslo City Hall in Norway. This is the first time a Malaysian businessman has won such an award. Yeoh, when contacted, said: “I thank the Lord for this and I give him all the honour and credit. I also thank all those who have made this possible and to Malaysia, for it provides the platform for our continuous growth.”

YTL’s Starhill Gallery Celebrates Arts Festival Finale
YTL Community News, 4 October 2010
“The greatest Artist is God the Creator! No one can sculpt or paint better than Him. And nature is His beautiful handiwork. But sadly, we often forget that and we carelessly pollute and destroy what He has wonderfully and intricately crafted. This evening, let us use art to support environmental conservation. We will auction off beautifully painted starfishes by famous individuals and the public, in support of Reef Check Malaysia.

“Our minister has painted one. I am sure Dato’ Sri’s starfish will fetch a humongous price. In case you ask why mine has not been painted? It is deliberate! I know my hands are bound to taint the art piece. So, I prefer to cherish the sculpture’s original colour in white, epitomising that sense of purity which reminds me of my Lord Jesus Christ, The Bright Morning Star!

“Let me thank everyone who has put so much into making this year’s Starhill Gallery Arts Festival a memorable one,” said Tan Sri (Dr) Francis Yeoh, Group Managing Director of YTL Corporation Berhad.

In her opening speech during the evening, Dato’ Sri Dr Ng Yen Yen congratulated Tan Sri (Dr) Francis Yeoh and YTL Corporation Berhad for consistently taking a step ahead in the private sector and complementing the government’s efforts in embracing the nation’s inherent talents.

“Starhill Gallery has launched the first nationwide art competition of its kind that is initiated by the private sector. The Visual Arts Awards (VAA) provides an invaluable platform for young, emerging artists to showcase their talents, inspiring them to reflect upon our culture, landscapes and people in the pursuit of excellence in Malaysian art,” she continued.

“Art is an affirmation of Life which brings us closer to the Divine”.

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