Saturday, April 24, 2010


"Enlightened Entrepreneur" - that's a term I picked up on Day 1 of the on-going 18th National Acheivers Congress. Yup, the same one where Tony Blair was scheduled to share with participants his wealth-generating strategies. Well, he was a no-show, at least not yesterday. Not sure if he had cold feet at the last minute. Certain Muslim groups simply do not want him to set foot on Malaysian soil because of his involvement in the Iraq war. (Update: Blair did show up on Day 2).

But I digress.

An enlightened entrepreneur is a business owner who uses his money and wealth to do good. Think Bill Gates, 55, who recently donated US$10b for vaccine research through his Gates Foundation, or Warren Buffet, 80, who has pledged to give away 85% of his fortune, or about US$37.4 billion to improve health and education, especially in poor nations.

Now China's Yu Pengnian, 88, real estate moghul and hotelier, has joined the ranks of the world's biggest philantropists. He plans to give away his entire fortune of US$470 million in cash and property assets to the Yu Pengnian Foundation, a Hong Kong-registered charity which supports health and education charities and disaster relief. This brings his total donation to US$1.2b.

At a press conference to announce this, he said, "'This will be my last donation. I have nothing more to give away. It will all be for charity, no part of it will be inherited by anyone, no part will be used to do business nor for investment.'

That's the way it should be. Folks who are blessed with great wealth should use it to do good. When there is still so much poverty, hunger, illiteracy and disease in the world, how can the rich sleep in peace if they don't lift a finger to help out?

The four Malaysians who made it to the Forbes' list of Asia's Heroes of Philanthropy: (from left) Ananda Krishnan, Ruby Khong, Liew Kee Sin and Francis Yeoh.

(Source: The Star)

Now if I had RM10m, I would give 90% of it to charities. I would keep only RM1m, and still be a millionaire by Malaysian standards!


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