YTL Corporation managing director, Tan Sri (Dr) Francis Yeoh was today conferred with an Honorary CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
British High Commissioner, HE Bruce Cleghorn, presented Tan Sri Francis the award at an intimate cocktail party at his residence. Friends and family, including YTL Group executive chairman Tan Sri Dato' Seri (Dr) Yeoh Tiong Lay and Puan Seri Tan Kai Yong, as well as Dato' Mark Yeoh attended the celebration.
An announcement released by the British High Commission said Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II decided to award to Tan Sri Francis the honorary CBE in recognition of his substantial contribution to economic relations between Malaysia and the United Kingdom, and to the UK economy.
YTL is the largest Malaysian investor in the UK - besides owning and successfully running Wessex Water, YTL has also listed a YTL e-Solutions Berhad subsidiary, Infoscreen Networks plc, on the London Stock Exchange last year.
In his speech before presenting the award, Cleghorn pointed out the Tan Sri Francis has very strong links with the UK - he obtained a Bachelor of Science (Hons.) Degree in Civil Engineering from Kingston University (UK), and in 2004, an Honorary Doctorate. Tan Sri Francis holds fellowships in many of the Chartered Institutions in the UK, is a member of the British Institute of Management and is also a founder-member of the Malaysian British Business Council.
Known for his strong support of the arts, both in Malaysia and internationally, Tan Sri Francis organised a free public performance by The Three Tenors in Bath, where Wessex Water is headquartered. Similar events have been organised in Malaysia, the most recent being the Concert of Celebration highlighting British tenor, Russell Watson.
HE Bruce Cleghorn also cited many other contributions, not least of which is the setting up of the Nottingham University in Malaysia.
Tan Sri Francis thanked Her Majesty, HRH Queen Elizabeth II for the honour. He also conveyed his appreciation for the Government of Malaysia, under the leadership of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed and also Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, and shared this honour with the country.
"I would like to thank my lovely colleagues at YTL who are a joy to lead. Their diligence, intellect and moral integrity have made YTL into a world-class company. I share this also with them.
"I would also like to thank my family - my parents, for bringing me up nicely and my siblings for their support.
"Of course, my immediate family, my wife, who is not here tonight, without whom I could not have such strength and courage. She is someone who says if something has to be done, it has to be done well or not at all. So I would like to dedicate this honour to her tonight. I also share with my children who are also not here but are a fantastic support to me through their unconditional love, they are my anchor.
"Most important of all, I thank our Lord Jesus Christ who has once again perfumed my name. I am actually a very humble person with plenty to be humble about. He always has a way to perfume my name to encourage me at right time. I give Him all the glory and all the honour. It's such privilege to trust God," he said.