KUALA LUMPUR (June 4): Upon beating 15 nominees for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2011 Malaysia award, Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin will represent Malaysia to compete for the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year 2012 award, of which the ceremony will be held in Monte Carlo on June 9.
Liew, who is president and CEO of S P Setia Bhd, one of the country's top developers, will compete with the likes of Singaporean Richard Eu, CEO of Eu Yan Sang International Ltd; LinkedIn Corp co-founders Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner from the US; and Italian Alessandro Benetton, Benetton Group SpA chairman, for the coveted award.
At the age of 30, Liew undertook to develop a piece of land worth US$16 million (RM51.2 million). With only US$16,000 to his name and an equity deal, Liew turned in his first professional success.
Started as a construction company, S P Setia ventured into property development under Liew's stewardship in 1996. Now Malaysia's largest property developer, S P Setia has 33 projects with a gross development value of US$22 billion.
Liew's philosophy of excellence, team spirit and commitment to drive community enrichment is embodied in S P Setia's "live-learn-work-play" motto. The group's corporate responsibility charter, "Building Sustainable Communities for All" has since 2000 disbursed more than US$11.5 million to over 7,800 underprivileged students and members of the public.
"S P Setia is an exceptional enterprise because of the profound impact and difference it is making to the lives of the people both in and out of the organisation," said Ernst & Young Malaysia country managing partner Abdul Rauf Rashid.
"There is a clear sense of teaming, loyalty and of living the values of the company among its employees, which is a tribute to the leadership of the company," he added.
Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Of The Year award was launched to recognise the achievements of outstanding entrepreneurs within successful, growing, and dynamic businesses with the aim of encouraging entrepreneurial activities worldwide.
Now in its 12th year, the award sees nominees from 51 nations. For the first time, there will be participants from Kenya, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.
The award seeks to identify role models for future business leaders, inspire existing entrepreneurs to reach even greater heights and foster new entrepreneurial activity and economic growth in participating countries. The importance of entrepreneurs is attributed primarily to their ability to create jobs and contribute new innovations that enrich the lives of people.
Abdul Rauf is quoted on Ernst & Young's web portal as saying, "Indeed, driving entrepreneurship in Malaysia augurs well with the government's Economic Transformation Programme that encourages and facilitates private sector initiatives to drive our economy to a high-income nation."
This story appeared in The Edge Financial Daily on June 4, 2012.
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