9 March 2022 was a deeply significant and meaningful day for family members of the late Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng when they visited UTAR Kampar Campus for the cheque presentation of RM5 million donation to UTAR Hospital and the launching of the Tan Sri Lee Shing Cheng Lecture Theatre named after the late Tan Sri Lee. The donation was made through the Yayasan Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng, funded entirely by IOI Group and the estate of the late Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng, to UTAR Education Foundation for the Hospital. The occasion also marked the launch of the Bargain Basement’s third outlet, a social enterprise of Yayasan Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng, at the UTAR Kampar Campus.
The late Tan Sri Lee’s family members who were in UTAR Kampar Campus for the event were Puan Sri Hoong May Kuan, spouse of the late Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng, and family members, Dato’ Lee Yeow Chor, Group Managing Director & Chief Executive of IOI Corporation Berhad cum Trustee of Yayasan Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng; Datin Joanne Wong Su-Ching, Executive Director of Yayasan Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng; their son Mr Brennan Lee; Ms Lee Yoke Ling, Senior Manager of Interior Design; Ms Lee Yoke Har, Executive Director of IOI Properties Group Berhad; Ms Lee Yoke Hean, Deputy GM of Admin & Procurement; and Mr Lim Jit Uei, Head of Group Commodity Marketing.
Other IOI staff included Ms Karen Liew, Head of Corporate Communications; Ms Callie Chua, Senior Executive of Corporate Communications; Ms Elain Teoh Yee Meng, Senior Executive of Corporate Social Responsibility cum Retail; and Ms Samantha Lim, Executive of Corporate Communications.
UTAR Chancellor Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik, Toh Puan Ena Ling, and Chairman of Board of Trustees of UTAR Education Foundation Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Sak Cheng Lum and Puan Sri Sak were in Kampar Campus to welcome the family and to thank them for their generous contribution and support for UTAR. Also present were Datuk Lee Leck Cheng, UTAR Council Member and Board of Trustees of UTAR Education Foundation Member; Tan Sri Hew See Tong, UTAR Planning and Development Committee Advisor; Puan Sri Hew; UTAR Council members Mr Hew Fen Yee and Datuk Lim Si Cheng; UTAR President Ir Prof Dr Ewe Hong Tat, and Vice President for Student Development and Alumni Relations Prof Dr Choong Chee Keong.
Ir Prof Dr Ewe Hong Tat said, “Today’s launching is not just about honouring and thanking the late Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng, his family and his Foundation but it is also a testimonial of the late Tan Sri Lee’s belief in giving back to the society and the importance of good education for career success. The late Tan Sri Lee had always impressed upon the importance of education as the way forward for the community as well as the nation. Through the Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng Foundation, many students received much-needed scholarships and educational grants to pursue an education for a better life. We are indeed proud and thankful that the late Tan Sri Lee shares the same vision as the University on education as the key to personal and economic growth, and success. A good education can transform lives and contribute towards nation building.”
He continued, “As a University by the people and for the people, UTAR believes in giving back to the people. UTAR Hospital is also built along the same principle of giving back to the community by providing quality affordable medical and health services that will benefit everyone. This Hospital will also provide education and training for medical students and conduct medical research for the advancement of medicine and healthcare. So I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Puan Sri Hoong May Kuan, Dato Lee Yeow Chor, and the late Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng’s family for donating RM5 million to UTAR Hospital, which will ultimately benefit the community as well.”
He added, “We are very fortunate to be given this opportunity to collaborate and sign an MoA with Yayasan Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng for this Bargain Basement project at UTAR Kampar Campus. This project will allow our students in the Young Entrepreneurs Society, Marketing Society, Logistics & International Shipping Society, and International Friendship Society to experience the practical side of managing business, and handling customers. It will also educate them on charity with proceeds channelled to UTAR Hospital Project and Kampar Charities.”
Prof Ewe elaborated that the contributions and support from the late Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng, his family and his Foundation are truly a blessing to UTAR and UTAR Hospital. On behalf of everyone at UTAR, he expressed his deepest thanks to Puan Sri Hoong May Kuan, Dato’ Lee Yeow Chor, Datin Joanne Wong, and family members of the late Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng for their generosity and kind gesture.
Dato’ Lee Yeow Chor said, in his speech, “This is my second visit to UTAR Kampar Campus. Seeing so many familiar faces among the guests here today gives me a sense of déjà vu. Quite a number of the guests seated at the front row are old friends of my late father and it reminds me of the many dinner gatherings I had attended with my father in the 1990s. After his passing in June 2019, our family decided to make this contribution towards the building of UTAR Hospital. Today’s launch of Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng Lecture Theatre incidentally coincides with the soft launch of my late father’s biography. This biography is a labour of love by my family and appreciation for his inspiring life stories.”
He added, “Besides the launching of Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng Lecture Theatre, we also witness the signing of a collaboration agreement between UTAR and Yayasan Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng to set up the third Bargain Basement outlet in this campus. The Bargain Basement is the brainchild of Datin Joanne Wong, and hence the success of this social enterprise is entirely attributable to her and her team. The business model of Bargain Basement is to gather pre-owned or second-hand items which are no longer in use, or, surprisingly, some items are gifts from the local communities, and we sell them at the shop, with the proceeds from the sales to be given to charitable organisations to help the poor and needy. This business model allows people to declutter their houses and offices to promote responsible consumption. It also fits very well with the circularity economy concept promoted by countries concerned with climate change and United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. So far, Bargain Basement has given out RM530, 000 to 33 charity organisations since 2016.”
The donation of RM5 million and the mock cheque was presented by Dato’ Lee Yeow Chor and Puan Sri Hoong May Kuan to Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Sak Cheng Lum, witnessed by Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik, and Ir Prof Dr Ewe Hong Tat.
A Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) was also signed between UTAR and Yayasan Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng on the setting up of Bargain Basement@UTAR. Signing on behalf of Yayasan Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng was Datin Joanne Wong Su-Ching while Ir Prof Dr Ewe Hong Tat signed on behalf UTAR. This was witnessed by Dato’ Lee Yeow Chor and Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Sak Cheng Lum. A memento was also presented by Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Sak Cheng Lum and Ir Prof Dr Ewe Hong Tat to Puan Sri Hoong May Kuan and Dato, Lee Yeow Chor. In return, Dato’ Lee Yeow Chorpresented the biography of the late Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng to Ir Prof Ewe Hong Tat.
The launching of the Bargain Basement@UTAR by Datin Joanne Wong Su-Ching, Dato’ Lee Yeow Chor, Ir Prof Ewe Hong Tat and Prof Dr Choong Chee Keong proceeded as the final segment of the event. At the launch of the Bargain Basement@UTAR, Ms Elain Teoh gave an introduction on the Bargain Basement’s initiative, its purpose and its role in support of sustainability and a greener environment. After the launch, the guests went on a tour of the campus and UTAR Hospital.