PETALING JAYA: The founder and advisor of Berjaya Group, Tan Sri Vincent Tan drew attention to the importance of philanthropy, the provision of affordable housing for the underprivileged, and the promotion of sustainable economic growth as means to improve society during the Forbes Global CEO conference in Singapore.
During a session on resetting priorities, the conversation revolved around achieving sustainability, helping the environment, and philanthropy.
To this, Tan said: “I believe it’s time for the rich to step up and do more for the less fortunate. With their abundance of resources, it’s only fair that they contribute towards uplifting those who are struggling financially. They have the power to make a significant impact on society.
However, he said it’s not just the responsibility of individuals to tackle this issue, governments also have a significant role to play.
“They should take greater initiatives to address the needs of the less fortunate through effective social programs and policies. By doing so, they can ensure equal opportunities for all and reduce the wealth gap.”
Tan highlighted the need to provide affordable housing to the poor and suggested that the government should collaborate with the banking sector to offer 100 per cent housing loans with extended terms.
“Allowing the poor to own homes would lead to happier communities with less crime and greater political stability.”
When asked about the pulse check on Malaysian consumers, Tan said: “The businesses had suffered during the Covid-19 pandemic, but many were now recovering well, including consumer businesses.
He praised the government for its efforts to help low-income individuals and support the consumer sector during the pandemic.
Tan further added his take on the investments in Japan, emphasising the long-term potential of the market.
After the tremendous success of the Four Seasons Hotel in Kyoto, Tan revealed plans to develop more Four Seasons properties, including one in Okinawa and another in Yokohama.
He said: “There will be upcoming investments in Iceland and Malaysia’s Redang Island. We also have plans for the high-speed rail link between Malaysia and Singapore.
The business tycoon expressed support for the project, stating that it would be an important link to Singapore.
He also stated the need for private sector funding and suggested that the government allocate more resources to help the poor in affordable housing.
Tan said, “Based on the involvement of multiple private players, I have confidence that there will be a potential success in the high-speed rail project.”