Queen Elizabeth honours Malaysian businessman

MELBOURNE, Tuesday 15 June 2010 (Bernama) -- A Malaysian businessman and community leader was honoured by Britain's Queen Elizabeth in her birthday honours list on Monday.

Dr Peter Yeoh Tiong Yong, 72, who now lives in Brisbane, was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his service to business, particularly through the Australia-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, and to the community of Queensland.

The well-known philanthropist's charity work has been outstanding.

He initiated a fund-raiser which helped collect A$630,000 in three years for the Queensland Pre-Natal Research Centre to help prevent brain damage in new-born babies who suffered from a shortage of oxygen during birth.

Dr Yeoh was also behind a campaign which raised A$3 million over five years for the Betty Byren Henderson Women's Health Research Centre at the Royal Women's Hospital in Brisbane. It undertakes Longitudinal Assessment Study of women's health in the mid to late years.

But it's his involvement with business associations that has made Dr Yeoh prominent in Brisbane.

His work with the Australia-Malaysia Business Council of Queensland (AMBCQ) and the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese of the People's Republic of China earned him recognition and praise from state and federal governments in Australia, China and Malaysia.

As AMBCQ president, Dr Yeoh led a highly successful delegation to Malaysia in 1996. This resulted in a return visit by a Malaysian trade and investment mission to Queensland, the following year.

He played a leading role to facilitate a sister city relationship between Brisbane and Shenzhen in China.

In April 2003, he was awarded the Centenary Medal by the Governor General of Australia for his achievements in a broad cross-section of the Australian community.

Born in Klang, Selangor on Nov 30, 1937 into a family with building construction interests, Dr Yeoh is the youngest son of nine siblings.

After completing his secondary education in Malaysia, he furthered his studies at the Sydney University of Technology and in 1963, at the age of 26, he took over his family's company, Yeoh Cheng Liam Construction Sdn Bhd.

During his tenure of 22 years, Dr Yeoh grew the business to become one of the largest construction companies in Malaysia, constructing numerous high-rise buildings, residential and shopping complexes, hospitals and industrial factories.

In 1982, Dr Yeoh was inducted Fellow of the Faculty of Building in London.

Three years later, he migrated with his family to Australia and started the YTY Group of Companies, with interests in property investment and management. Dr Yeoh is an active promoter of multiculturalism and integration of overseas Chinese into Australian society.

Dr Yeoh and wife, Alice, have three daughters and a son. Their eldest daughter, Pat P. W. Yeoh is the managing director of PM Resources Sdn Bhd in Kuala Lumpur. (By NEVILLE D'CRUZ/Bernama)

MySinchew 2010.06.15