YTL MD conferred top 'ethical business' award

Business Times, October 25, 2010


YTL Corporation's managing director Francis Yeoh has become the first Malaysian to be conferred the prestigious Business for Peace Award at the annual Oslo Summit in Norway.

The 56-year-old businessman received the award on Monday for his efforts 'in promoting peace through business and championing ethical and socially responsible business practices both at home and around the world', YTL said in a media release on Wednesday.

The Business for Peace Award is the highest distinction given to a business leader for outstanding accomplishments in the area of ethical business.

Mr Yeoh was also made a 'First Among Equals' honouree, the first time this honorary title has been given to an Asian businessman.

Business for Peace Foundation chairman Per Leif Saxegaard said that under Mr Yeoh's stewardship, YTL has grown 'from a single-listed entity to become one of the largest corporations in Malaysia'.

'While YTL's success clearly demonstrates business acumen of the highest order, it is Francis Yeoh's philosophy about how business should be conducted which has brought him honour,' he said.

At the awards ceremony, Mr Yeoh said in a speech that he was humbled by the recognition from the international community. He encouraged companies to flee 'short-termism' and avoid being driven by instant rewards, quick fixes and unethical gains.

He also urged firms to adopt corporate social responsibility as part of the corporate DNA, instead of mere expediency and gaining media exposure.

Mr Yeoh has helped steer YTL into an international conglomerate that has pioneered many projects worldwide. In Malaysia, he oversaw the recent launch of the country's first nationwide 4G network that covers almost 60 per cent of the country, as well as the establishment of a high-speed railway in Kuala Lumpur.

Among the many people to offer their congratulations over the past couple of days was Temasek Holdings chief executive and executive director Ho Ching, who 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.'