Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun, the founder of Berjaya Corporation Berhad (BCorp), has stepped down as its non-independent, non-executive chairman and will assume the role of an advisor.
Tan had retired from conglomerate BCorp’s board in 2012 when he turned 60 years old, but returned as executive chairman five years later.
In 2021, he resigned as executive chairman of BCorp, but had remained on the Board of Directors as a non-executive chairman.
Now, as an advisor, he will provide guidance to the board and support the continued growth of BCorp.
While he’ll still be involved in the group, Tan shared that his stepping down will allow him to devote more time to promoting his charitable foundation, Yayasan MyFirst Home.
Helping the B40 segment own their first homes
Just days shy of its one-year anniversary, Yayasan MyFirst Home (YMFH) is a foundation that promotes and facilitates the development of affordable housing and home ownership by the B40 group.
“I am particularly passionate about finding solutions to assist the B40 group to be able to buy and own an affordable home, which is the reason I founded Yayasan MyFirst Home with a personal donation of RM5 million to fund its initial start-up and operating costs,” Tan, the 21st richest Malaysian as of 2022, explained.
This philanthropic ambition of Tan’s isn’t new. In 2021, when he stepped down from the role of executive director, the goal was so he could focus on building affordably priced homes for Malaysians through his Better Malaysian Foundation.
The goal of YMFH is to act as a singular touch point and facilitator to bring together all the various stakeholders, including developers, financiers, donors, NGOs, relevant governmental agencies, and other interested parties, to work together to fulfil its mission.
According to YMFH’s website, the team believes that a country’s housing system should provide shelter for all, and also facilitate people to move up the socio-economic ladder towards home ownership.
We need to move away from the assumption that renting is a better solution for the low-income group. There is always a need for the rental segment but facilitating home ownership through innovative solutions and pathways, for the low-income group is a potential tool that can facilitate upward mobility.
Yayasan MyFirst Home
YMFH’s initial stage will focus on increasing ownership of affordable housing by the lower income groups—moving them up from ‘renters’ to homeowners.
How the foundation works
The foundation isn’t a property developer, but works with partners in the industry to build affordable housing.
YMFH has a project in Lanai Residences, Bukit Jalil, which was developed by Berjaya Properties. This location caters to those entitled to the Rumah Mampu Milik Wilayah Persekutuan (RUMAWIP) scheme in Klang Valley.
According to its website, YMFH’s proof-of-concept project in Subang will be launched soon. It’s a low-density development with 402 dual-key apartments.
Three unit types are available, each with a build-up of 900 sq ft. Type A comprises four bedrooms and three bathrooms, while Type B has five bedrooms and four bathrooms, and Type C consists of three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
Those from the B40 community can visit the YMFH website where there is a pre-application form that asks for some details.
The foundation will then reach out to the applicants for any additional information, and eligible applicants will be further contacted by a foundation officer.
Volunteers and parties interested to collaborate can sign up to do so on YMFH’s website as well.
“I truly believe Yayasan MyFirst Home will be able to make a difference in its endeavours to help the B40 group to own their own homes,” Tan stated in the press release.
“I strongly urge all Malaysians, especially the rich and powerful among us, to help the lower-income B40s to buy their own affordable homes so that when they eventually retire and are no longer gainfully employed, they will have a roof over their head.”
Following Tan’s stepping down, the new BCorp boardroom features an all-female lineup. YAM Tunku Tun Aminah Binti Sultan Ibrahim Ismail is the non-independent non-executive chairman, while Vivienne Cheng Chi Fan and Merine Tan Sheik Ping are the joint group CEOs and executive directors.
“The latest changes in the BCorp boardroom reflect the group’s commitment to promote women’s empowerment in the workplace,” Vincent Tan commented in a March 1 press release.
- Learn more about Yayasan MyFirst Home here.
- Read other articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups here.
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