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This Malaysian Billionaire Is Going To Fund 5,000 Homes For Poor Filipinos

The prominent businessman has also pledged half of his wealth to charity work.

Cover image via Getty

Prominent Malaysian billionaire, Vincent Tan, has pledged to build 5,000 houses for poor Filipinos

Vincent Tan (centre) with the Malaysian delegates at the Social Business Summit at the GK Enchanted Farm in Bulacan on 22 January.

Image via The Sun/Norman Hiu

Tan made the announcement when speaking at the 4th Global Social Business Summit held at the GK Enhancement Farm in Angkat, Bulacan, Manila recently.

The charity project will proceed with the help of Gawad Kalinga (GK) Community Development Foundation, a Philippine-based poverty alleviation and nation-building movement.

In 2012, Tan donated 100 million pesos (RM8.9 million) to the GK foundation, which is part of the 300 million pesos (RM26.7 million) he had pledged for the construction of 3,000 houses for Filipinos who were hit by natural disasters.

Tan Sri Dato' Seri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun or popularly known as Vincent Tan, is the founder and chairman of Berjaya Corporation Berhad which houses businesses ranging from property, gambling, resorts, and retail franchises. Tan made it into the Forbes billionaire list in 2010 with an estimated worth of USD1.3 billion (RM4.2 billion).

"The rich became rich because a lot of poor people supported their businesses. I pledge half of my wealth to charitable work. The masses support our business and who are the masses? Many of them are poor," said Tan.

To date, the Berjaya-GK collaboration has managed to build 1,000 homes for the poor in the Philippines.

"We committed 3,000 houses several years ago and if you build faster, we would like to commit 5,000 houses," explained Tan.

It was reported that Tan went to the Philippines in 2015, to attend the groundbreaking ceremony to build the 1,000 housing units for the survivors of Typhoon "Sendong" in Cagayan de Oro City.

Speaking about how the Berjaya Group is very happy to lend a helping hand to Philippines, Tan explained that it's the poor that support and help rich people's businesses

"We’re very pleased to help the Philippines by doing business here. Like what I always say, the rich people need the poor to support their businesses and I think the rich must give back as much as possible," said Tan.

He also took the opportunity to reveal his future plans of emulating the housing projects for the poor in the Philippines in Malaysia by setting up shelters for the less fortunate.

Meanwhile, responding to Tan's generosity, GK founder Antonio Meloto said that Berjaya is one of the foundation's biggest contributors. He said that Berjaya and GK have successfully developed 12 villages in the Philippines and the first two were home to survivors of Typhoon "Pablo" in Compostela Valley back in 2012.

While Vincent is building homes for the poor in the Philippines, this odd job worker in Perak built a house for his homeless neighbour:

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