Forbes Asia’s Heroes of Philanthropy List Includes 4 Malaysians

Forbes Asia’s latest Heroes of Philanthropy list included four philanthropic Malaysians; AirAsia’s Tan Sri Tony Fernandes; business man Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary who controls MMC Corp. and DRB-Hicom; Managing Director of the Body Shop Malaysia, Mina Cheah Foong; and CEO of MBF holdings, Ninian Mogan Lourdenadin.

1. Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary

Photo credit: Gigi Lasi, Flickr

According to Forbes Asia, Syed Mokhtar has set up refugee camps in Pakistan, orphanages in Guinea and rehabilitation programs for disaster victims in China, Indonesia and Iran. He has also opened hospitals in Uganda, South Africa, Nepal and Australia, and he has a university in Alor Setar, Malaysia, which allows poor students from anywhere in the world to study for free. In total, he has donated up to 500 million!

2. Tan Sri Tony Fernandes

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Since 2012, more than $200,000 from Tony Fernandes’s AirAsia Foundation has been given to groups such as the Thien Chi Bamboo Bicycle to provide off-season jobs to seasonal farm workers in Vietnam, Rags2Riches to train 100 people to design and make bags in the Philippines, and the Cambodia Living Arts to train students in traditional performing arts. Other projects include helping hill-tribe coffee farmers in Thailand who were affected by deforestation, preserving heritage buildings in Yogyakarta and setting up micro-hydro plants in Malaysia to provide electricity to a handful of communities. The AirAsia Foundation had also donated $2 million for the survivors of November’s Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The money was used to rebuild houses and to help people start convenience stores in their homes.

3. Mina Cheah Foong

Photo credit: nhanvatkdphotos, Flickr

The Managing Director of The Body Shop, Mina Cheah Foong, has dedicated a lot of time and money to causes that are considered controversial to most. These include opposing the forcible conversion of minors to Islam; assisting the transgender, sex worker and gay communities; and providing shelter and legal support to victims of domestic violence. She also began the Kick the Bag Habit campaign which led to a state levy on the use of plastic bags, and also help initiate an environmental campaign to persuade the government to declare Belum Temengor in the southern part of Malaysia as an ecologically sensitive rainforest area.

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4. Ninian Mogan Lourdenadin

Photo credit: Forbes Asia

Ninian Mogan Lourdenadin is the CEO of MBF Holdings. He was trained as a medical doctor in London before turning into an entrepreneur and is now a major shareholder for MBF Holdings. Over the past 10 years, he has contributed up to $15 million to charities dedicated to education and health care for children, and for Hindu temples in Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and Fiji.

Forbes Asia’s Heroes of Philanthropy list has been highlighting notable philanthropist in the Asia-Pacific region for eight years now. The list of 48 philanthropists range from billionaires with ideas and vision on the best way to help society, and lesser-known business people who have made a big difference with their generosity. Forbes lists does not rank the biggest giver, as it would be impossible to collect all the figures. Instead, the list aims to highlight the people and their causes. These philanthropists are also picked because they have been giving generously from their own money and not from their company (unless of course they own most of the company).

The full list can be viewed here.

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