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'Prosper thy neighbour'

   

Jakarta, 8 December 2004

YTL group managing director, Tan Sri (Dr.) Francis Yeoh spoke at a dinner in Jakarta, held in appreciation to contributors which funded the Indonesia Red Cross to assist returning Indonesians under the Malaysia Government Amnesty programme.

The dinner was attended by high profile bankers and businessmen from Malaysia and Indonesia, including CIMB chief executive Dato’ Nazir Razak, Guthrie managing director Dato’ Abdul Wahab Maskan, Air Asia chief executive Tony Fernandes and Khazanah Nasional managing director, Dato' Azman Hj Mokhtar. Lt. Gen. (R) TB Silalahi was the guest-of-honour.


   

Text of the Speech by Tan Sri (Dr) Francis Yeoh

I've been asked to say a few words on behalf of the Malaysian contributors in tomorrow's cheque presentation ceremony at the Presidential Palace in the presence of Bapak Presiden and our Deputy Prime Minister. The first thing I must say is that I am honoured to be alongside such corporations as Commerce Asset-Holding Berhad (CAHB), Guthrie and AirAsia. We're all friends and we all have enormous respect for one another's achievements over the years.

Secondly, I should say that we were moved by the humanitarian plight of the many Indonesians returning to Malaysia under the government amnesty and that we are doubly honoured to be able to assist the Indonesian Red Cross in its work.

Malaysian business has long believed in the importance of public-private sector partnership. We recognise that business is not conducted in a vacuum of profit and loss accounts. Instead we try to be as holistic as possible. Moreover, as a practising Christian from a majority Muslim country I am proud to say that my government's approach to business is rooted in morality, deeply responsible and enlightened.


   

I am convinced that our two countries are a natural fit. Whilst we are much smaller than Indonesia – I am always humbled by the scale of your great nation – there are areas where we have been remarkably successful and we are more than willing to share our experiences with you. At the same time Malaysians also believe very strongly in the importance of prospering thy neighbour. Our commitment to Indonesia is long term and enduring.

I am fully aware of the blessings that both our Prime Minister and your President have received – overwhelming mandates to lead our respective nations – and both leaders have been rewarded and praised for their war against corruption. I pray and hope they will prevail. Both nations are experiencing a renewed faith in the spirit of renaissance and reforms for the good of their peoples.

All of mankind today is spun together in a complex web of interdependence. The consequence of interdependence is that we have a stake in each other’s economic well-being. We know the resilience of the global economy is as strong as the weakest of its constituents.

Therefore in order for us to grow with you and help you build this great nation we will need your help and more importantly your friendship and advice, because friendship, after all, is the basis upon which all business begins and all four of the corporations participating in tomorrow's ceremony are committed to Indonesia for decades to come.

Indeed, I hope that in the years ahead, it will be my sons and daughters and my nephews and nieces talking with you and dining with you and your children. I sincerely hope and pray that we will be shuttling between Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta as readily and as comfortably as we move within our own countries.

Thank you and may God bless both our beautiful countries and also all of you present here tonight.

Speech by Tan Sri (Dr) Francis Yeoh
at the Contributors Appreciation Dinner
in Jakarta on 7 December 2004



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