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Malaysians make Forbes Asia's 'Heroes Of Philanthropy' list

KUALA LUMPUR, June 28 — Malaysians Datuk Vijay Eswaran of the Ql Group of Companies, Berjaya Group's Tan Sri Vincent Tan, IJM Corp founder Koon Yew Yin and renowned architect Hijjas Kasturi were among 48 people named "Heroes of Philanthropy" by Forbes Asia.

The list is compiled annually by Forbes with the aim of calling attention to notable people and causes throughout the region.

Vijay, the Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of the QI Group of Companies, was selected for his extensive contribution amounting to millions of dollars to various causes around the globe, including public health initiatives, education and cultural programs.

He operates his company based on the philosophy of RYTHM, an acronym for Raise Yourself to Help Mankind, which he propagates among the employees of his global business empire.

His QI Group is an e-commerce-based conglomerate with businesses that have diversified into a variety of sectors that include retail, travel, telecommunications, watches, luxury products, wellness, training, technology and corporate investments.

In February, another Malaysian on the Forbes Asia list, Berjaya Corporation Bhd Founder Tan Sri Vincent Tan, pledged to donate at least half of his wealth to charity.

This follows his decision to join "The Giving Pledge" initiated by Bill Gates, his wife Melinda and Warren Buffett.

Renowned architect Hijjas Kasturi, 74, and Angela Hijjas, 61, have sponsored and hosted more than 100 artists, writers and performers since starting a residency program in 1994 at their traditional Malay home in a tropical garden outside Kuala Lumpur.

The program is partly funded by profits from a boutique hotel in George Town, Penang, that they converted from a cluster of pre-war shop houses. The restoration helped revive a derelict area and serves as a studio for artists.

Koon, 78, Co-Founder of IJM Corp, donates roughly 0,000 a year to various causes. He also funds scholarships for needy students and has given to 80 students at Tunku Abdul Rahman University.

He had previously said that he learned the value of education in escaping poverty after growing up in a family of 12.

The Malaysians were listed among other well-known Asians such as actors Jackie Chan from Hong Kong and Vivek Oberoi from India, as well as Japanese architect Tadao Ando.

The list annually features philanthropists who have not been highlighted by Forbes Asia before. (PNA/Bernama) DCT/utb

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