Education

Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah

A renowned business tycoon and prolific philanthropist with significant impact in multiple sectors, Jeffrey Cheah’s Sunway Group has contributed immeasurably to Malaysia and its economy

Profile


The founder and chairman of Sunway Group, Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah is a self-made Malaysian tycoon who is widely known for his efforts in championing sustainable development and education in the country, and equally, as a notable philanthropist.

Cheah started his entrepreneurial career with a self-started tin-mining company in 1974, which he eventually grew into an empire with interests in education, healthcare, hospitality, property and infrastructure. As a master developer, he has led the development of three integrated and self-sufficient townships. In healthcare, he has established two hospitals, with another six in the pipeline in the next few years through a recently inked partnership with GIC, Singapore’s sovereign fund. In 2020, he also ventured into fintech with a 51 per cent stake in Credit Bureau Malaysia.

His interest in education has led not only to the establishment of world-class educational institutions but also the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation (JCF), which is known for awarding scholarships worth millions. His boundless generosity when it comes to education derives from his own experience growing up in a small town in Perak, and witnessing how poverty deprived his childhood friends from furthering their studies and lifting themselves out of their circumstances.

The foundation, which is the country’s largest education-focused social enterprise, has now provided more than RM500 million worth of scholarships to deserving students. Through JCF, Cheah also donates generously to the world’s top universities like Harvard, Cambridge and Oxford to forge partnerships between Sunway Education Group and the world-class institutions. The tycoon’s mission is to advance Malaysia’s credentials as a regional hub of excellence in education and research.

Cheah is married to Puan Sri Susan Cheah and has three children who work with him.

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Cheah worked as an accountant in a motor assembly plant before leaving to establish his tin-mining company.

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