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It Is Now Tan Sri Sir Dr Jeffrey Cheah!

It Is Now Tan Sri Sir Dr Jeffrey Cheah!

The KBE is awarded to individuals who have made major contributions in any field of activity.

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Tan Sri Sir Dr Jeffrey Cheah, Founder and Chairman of Sunway Group, has been named an honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE) by His Majesty King Charles III of the United Kingdom.

He was honoured for his services to higher education, health services and philanthropy.

The honorary knighthood, which carries the post-nominal letters KBE, is a highly prestigious and rare distinction for citizens of a non-Commonwealth Realm nation.

This honour bestowed on Cheah is only the second in Malaysia in recent times and the first conferred by His Majesty King Charles III on a citizen of Malaysia.

The award is also in recognition of the instrumental role Cheah played in forging high-level links with a number of UK institutions, and contributing immensely towards the bilateral relationship between the UK and Malaysia.

Cheah, a prominent Malaysian entrepreneur and philanthropist, is also the founder and trustee of Jeffrey Cheah Foundation, which owns and governs all entities in Sunway Education Group under a not-for-profit structure.

To date, the foundation has disbursed more than RM670 million in scholarships to provide educational support to qualified students in need, and endowed many chairs and professorships at a number of world-renowned universities including the University of Cambridge and University of Oxford in the UK to facilitate knowledge transfer and bring world-class experts to Malaysia.

Through the realms of business and philanthropy, Cheah’s relentless drive to learn from the best and work with the best led to high-level partnerships between Sunway, the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation and renowned institutions in the UK, including the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, Lancaster University, the Royal College of Physicians, the Chevening Awards – the UK Government’s flagship scholarship programme, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

In healthcare, the partnership with University of Cambridge saw the Group’s flagship Sunway Medical Centre at Sunway City Kuala Lumpur appointed as a Regional Site Partner of Cambridge University Clinical Research Centre, as well as the naming of the Jeffrey Cheah Biomedical Centre at the Cambridge University Biomedical Campus, the largest biotech cluster outside the United States.

In addition to playing a pivotal role in the UK’s response towards COVID-19, the Jeffrey Cheah Biomedical Centre houses more than 300 scientists conducting cutting-edge research to address the latest and emerging public health challenges.

In the education sector, the affiliation between Sunway University and Lancaster University since 2006 has resulted in one of the most successful transnational higher education partnerships in the world, winning the “UK-Malaysia Education Institutional Partnership” award at the prestigious British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (BMCC) Business Excellence Awards 2022.

The close ties Sunway TES Centre of Accountancy Excellence forged with ACCA and ICAEW for almost 30 years now is producing some of the best talent in the fields of banking, finance and accountancy, among others.

Throughout the years, graduates from Sunway TES consistently ranked number one for ACCA and ICAEW global exams.

More recently, Cheah led the Sunway Group, through Sunway Innovation Lab, to establish a partnership with Cambridge-based venture capitalist firm Deeptech Labs, enabling them to accelerate the growth of net zero technologies and open new avenues for UK startups in the Asia Pacific region.

I am deeply overwhelmed and greatly humbled by the award of Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire conferred on me by His Majesty King Charles III. It is particularly welcomed as the honour is bestowed in recognition of services to Higher Education, Health Services and Philanthropy – exactly the sectors in which Sunway Group and Jeffrey Cheah Foundation are making a difference in the world. I consider this honour not just a personal one but an award that recognises the efforts of everyone affiliated with Sunway Group and the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation in positively impacting society and our beloved country.

Tan Sri Sir Dr Jeffrey Cheah

Ailsa Terry, British High Commissioner to Malaysia, also congratulated Cheah.

It was an honour for me to have personally informed Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah of his honorary award. He is an extraordinary entrepreneur who have built and led the Sunway Group to a successful conglomerate with investments in the UK. Equally remarkable is how he continues to invest in the future generations through education, healthcare and philanthropy in Malaysia and the UK. All these have contributed immensely to the bilateral relations.

Ailsa Terry

The High Commissioner will present the honorary award to Cheah on behalf of His Majesty King Charles III at a later date.


The KBE is awarded to individuals who have made major contributions in any field of activity (usually, but not exclusively, at national level), or in a capacity which will be recognised by peer groups as inspirational and significant nationally and demonstrates sustained commitment.

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