Anwar to conglomerates: Emulate Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar’s contribution to society

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today urged conglomerates in the country to emulate the contribution made by business tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary towards the society and development of the nation.

The contribution, said Anwar, is not only towards empowering the people’s economy but also supporting the development of arts and literature.

“If we have 30 conglomerates in the country, their support can boost the country’s performance in many sectors.

“With their support and contribution, we can elevate the status of our education sector, arts, literature and culture.

“It would be unfortunate if a country with strong Islamic roots and diverse cultures like Malaysia is not able to excel either in arts, culture or performing arts,” he told reporters after attending the launching of the Orientalist Paintings: Mirror or Mirage Exhibition at the Islamic Arts Museum of Malaysia (IAMM) here today.

Present were Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil, the Albukhary Foundation chairman Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary and the IAMM director Syed Mohamed Albukhary.

Also in attendance was the prime minister’s wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

Earlier in his speech, Anwar shared with guests Syed Mukhtar’s passion and contribution towards society.

“Although he has referred to me as his ‘abang’ (brother), I have been extremely tough on him.

“Just days after I took over (as the country’s 10th prime minister, I reached out and suggested that he do something substantial to help the poor.

 “A total of RM10 million in December and RM50 million this year were distributed to padi farmers among the poor.

“I do not think it is the authority of any government to instruct (any conglomerates to) donate RM60 million, but I did (reach out to Syed Mukhtar) because he is my ‘brother’ and that helping the poor is his passion,” he said.

Anwar later thanked Syed Mukhtar for his passion and contribution to the country in many fields.

“His passion is not only for the art but also helping the poor.

“We would, of course, suggest and appeal to more successful conglomerates to do likewise.

“You have seen how theatres and museums in Western countries (thriving)… It is not only through governmental efforts but through the commitment and to some extend some of the big conglomerates who feel that some profit should be utilised to support the art,” he said.



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