Hishammuddin: Yeoh’s passing a reminder not to fight one another regardless of race, religion

KUALA LUMPUR: Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay's demise should serve a reminder to all Malaysians that life is short, and that they should not be fighting against one another, regardless of their race and religion.

Describing the YTL Corporation Bhd founder as an "old school" man, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein recounted how Yeoh was never one to treat others with different skin colour differently.

"I hope his passing can be a reminder to us all that life is short and that we don't have time to be fighting amongst ourselves.

"At the end of the day, their legacy to build a nation together is only sometimes remembered by us when they are gone. And that is already too late," he told reporters after paying his last respects to Yeoh at his residence, here.

Yeoh, who died on Wednesday aged 88, is survived by his wife Puan Sri Yeoh Kai Yong and seven children. His eldest son, Tan Sri Francis Yeoh is the managing director of YTL Corporation.

Hishammuddin pointed that he had known Yeoh and family for a long time and that he regarded him as one who was kind-hearted and had contributed massively to the country.

"He was old school. He doesn't look at skin colour or religion, he only looked at one's heart. That's why my family and his is very close.

"I lost somebody I cared for very much. But now that he's gone, his wife and children will have to go on. We'll work towards realising Yeoh's wishes, legacy and vision together. That is my wish," he added.

Meanwhile, Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob said he had high respect for Yeoh, as the latter remained humble throughout his life, despite his wealth.

"He was a billionaire, and still had both his feet on the ground, never one to boast about his wealth," he said.

Yeoh was ranked the seventh richest man in Malaysia with a net worth of US$2 billion (RM8.4 billion), according to Forbes magazine.

His funeral will be held tomorrow beginning 10am at his residence, No 2 Lorong Buloh Perindu 1, Damansara Heights.