On 21 July 2022, Heriot-Watt University Malaysia (HWUM) names its library in honour of the late YTL Group Founder Tan Sri Dato' Seri (Dr) Yeoh Tiong Lay as part of its year-long 10-year anniversary celebration, and for his contributions to the University's impact in Malaysia!
The YTL family has a long tradition with the UK University. Tan Sri Dato' Seri (Dr) Yeoh's son, Dato' (Dr) Yeoh Seok Kian, attended Heriot-Watt University (“HWU”) as an undergraduate and graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Building in 1981. In 1988, the University awarded Tan Sri Dato' Seri (Dr) Yeoh with an Honorary Doctorate, DEng for his contribution to the industry. Similarly, Dato' (Dr) Yeoh Seok Kian was recognised for his work and bestowed an Honorary Doctorate, DUniv in 2017.
In January 2019, Dato' (Dr) Yeoh Seok Kian, who is the Managing Director of YTL Corporation Berhad, gifted £1,000,000.00 (RM5,340,313.08) to establish the “Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay Global Scholarship Programme” in memory of his father, who was known as a visionary leader by many. The scholarship programme is aimed at widening Malaysian students' access to UK higher education at the University.
To date, the scholarship programme has provided access to education to more than 70 students to pursue their higher education with HWUM. Further, it has provided 11 students with the opportunity to pursue their studies abroad at the University's Edinburgh Campus in Scotland via its Go Global inter-campus transfer programme.
In recognition of the long-standing association with and support of HWU, the library at its Putrajaya campus was named the “Tan Sri (Dr) Yeoh Tiong Lay Library”, after the visionary leader. The Tan Sri (Dr) Yeoh Tiong Lay Library is a well-designed, two-storey library that is more than 12,000 square feet in size, overlooking a tranquil lake, which can accommodate varied student learning methods and preferences, making it an attractive location to learn and study. There are 307 study areas in the main library, including 47 individual carrels in an open area.
The ceremony was officiated by Dato' (Dr) Yeoh Seok Kian together with Professor Richard A. Williams (HWU Principal & Vice-Chancellor); Professor Mushtak Al-Atabi (HWUM Provost & Chief Executive Officer); and Ms Janice Yew (HWUM Chief Operating Officer & Registrar). Also present at the event were Dato' Yeoh Soo Min (YTL Corporation Berhad Executive Director), YTL family members, guests, and staff.
Professor Richard A. Williams said: “Tan Sri Dato' Seri (Dr) Yeoh offered an unshakable pillar of support for the development of the University here in Malaysia and was generous in meeting the needs of the alumni association. He had a deep and strongly held understanding of the value of education to transform lives and its importance to humanity.”
“In more recent times, we have been blessed with the YTL family's generosity and philanthropic gift to support education and draw on the unique experience of Heriot-Watt in enabling students to spend time in different locations during their studies. Today, we have the pleasure of recognising the contribution, values, and passion of Tan Sri Dato' Seri (Dr) Yeoh and the wider ongoing ethos of the family in reassuring the importance of education and the need to open pathways to enable access to those who might otherwise not be able to benefit,” added Professor Williams.
Dato' (Dr) Yeoh Seok Kian said: “Education was incredibly close to my late father's heart, having been deprived of a formal tertiary education himself. He cherished the importance and the value of providing opportunities for others to acquire a good education. My father, alongside his beloved wife, Puan Sri Datin Seri Tan Kai Yong, who was a teacher herself, devoted a greater part of their lives to supporting educational causes and various educational establishments. This was part of their profound passion for education.”
“Through my father's vision, persistence, and determination, guidance, and wisdom, he ensured that all his children would have the means to grasp exciting opportunities in world-class universities. In the same way, he was steadfast in his dedication to extending the same opportunity to deserving students without the means and support to receive a quality university education,” added Dato' (Dr) Yeoh Seok Kian.
During the event, guests were taken on a tour of the library, and had an opportunity to view its features up close, including a gallery near the main entrance, featuring Tan Sri Dato' Seri (Dr) Yeoh's long and well-established connection with the University through the years.
The Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay Global Scholarship Programme is one of the many scholarship programmes available at HWUM, as the university continues to build flourishing communities with various strategic partners in widening the access to UK higher education for students.
HWUM remains committed to nurturing purpose-driven leaders through its ‘Positive Education' approach.