Saturday 22 Jun 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (June 1): Eco World Development Group Bhd (EcoWorld) executive chairman Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin received his honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) from British High Commissioner to Malaysia Charles Hay at an investiture ceremony at the high commissioner’s residence in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday (June 1).

It was announced in October last year that Liew was awarded the UK’s top honour, and that Hay would present it to him on behalf of His Majesty King Charles III at a later date.

The honour is to recognise Liew’s services and contributions to the successful regeneration and development projects in the UK, and for his contribution to UK-Malaysian trade and investment ties. 

“I am overwhelmed that a kampung boy like me would be bestowed an award from the British Empire. But to go all the way to the UK for work and get recognised for what I did is mind-boggling. If my parents knew what I have achieved with the British, they would be proud.

“This award will certainly motivate me to make more positive changes, as we all endeavour to play a meaningful role to help make our shared planet a better place,” Liew said after the ceremony.

Hay, in the award’s citation, credited Liew for doing what many thought was impossible by putting together a consortium of Malaysian companies to undertake the development, which has since boosted the regeneration of the Battersea Power Station area. 

When Liew was the chief executive officer of S P Setia Bhd, he brought together Sime Darby Property Bhd and the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) to bid for together, and successfully won, the opportunity to redevelop, repurpose and regenerate the dormant power station that sits strategically on the bank of the River Thames. Today, Battersea Power Station is teeming with activity, as the project features integrated retail, office, leisure and housing components. 

At the ceremony, Liew thanked all those who helped make it possible, namely the shareholders, S P Setia, Sime Darby Property Bhd, Permodalan Nasional Bhd, the EPF, bankers, the staff, and the over 40 non-governmental organisations in the area which supported the project after a lot of convincing. 

Under his leadership, Liew also helped bring into the UK several new Asian lenders, such as UOB and Bangkok Bank, in addition to Malaysian banks CIMB and Maybank, which have been operating in the UK, as well as engaging UK companies in supply chain procurement contracts.

After leaving S P Setia, Liew later founded Eco World International Bhd, which entered into joint-venture projects with UK companies Ballymore and Willmott Dixon to deliver large development projects in the UK. 

Liew was also recognised as the UK-Malaysia Business Personality of the Year by the British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce at the inaugural Business Excellence Awards in 2018.

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