Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Liew Kee Sin, the Chairman of EcoWorld, was conferred an honorary degree from Heriot-Watt University Malaysia during the University’s graduation ceremony that was held in Putrajaya on 24 November 2019. On hand to present him with the Doctor of the University award was Vice-Principal & Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University Professor Julian Jones.
“I am honoured to receive the Doctor of University award from Heriot-Watt University Malaysia and delighted to be part of the Watt Club. I have always believed that a good education is key to a brighter future. Even though life was difficult when I was growing up, my humble background only spurred me on further and pushed me to work harder to change the course of my life,” said Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Liew.
The Doctor of University award is the highest honour bestowed by Heriot-Watt to individuals who have made outstanding contributions that are relevant to the University’s values and missions.
“This award is in recognition of Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Liew’s visionary and philanthropic leadership, as well as his immense contributions to the field of international property development,” said Professor Mushtak Al-Atabi, the Provost & Chief Executive Officer of Heriot-Watt University Malaysia.
Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Liew Kee Sin graduated with a Bachelor of Economics degree from the University of Malaya in 1981. Through the years, he has garnered over 28 years of experience in the property development industry.
He began his career as a banker in Asiavest Merchant Bankers before joining a small property development company, where he rose through the ranks to become the General Manager of Finance. He then set up his own company, Syarikat Kemajuan Jerai Sdn Bhd, in 1990. This marked his maiden entrepreneurial venture into property development.
Six years later, he was appointed as an Executive Director of S P Setia and was subsequently appointed as the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer. In 2009, he was re-designated as the President & Chief Executive Officer of S P Setia, a position he held until his resignation in 2014. He was instrumental in transforming S P Setia from a company with only two projects in the Klang Valley into an established international property player with more than 40 projects and a presence in six countries.
After his resignation from S P Setia, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Liew was appointed as Director of Eco World Development Group Berhad (EcoWorld) and re-designated as Chairman in 2015. During the same year, through a private vehicle, he entered into an agreement with Ballymore Group to acquire a 75% stake in Eco-World Ballymore Holding Company Limited to develop three large-scale residential projects in London. This collaboration won the MIPIM-UK Awards Inward Investment Deal of the Year (2015), acknowledging it as the UK’s most significant example of foreign inward investment. He was eventually appointed as Vice-Chairman of EcoWorld International, an offshoot of the successful EcoWorld Malaysia. Helmed by Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Liew, the EcoWorld brand has grown exponentially in a short span of time with 20 projects in Malaysia, 11 in the UK and three in Australia.
“I dared to dream big. When the window for an overseas venture opened up, I was ready to take the challenge because I had a good team with me. My achievements are not mine alone but the team’s as well. So always build a good team around you and success will be yours!” he declared.
Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Liew has received many accolades in a personal capacity, attesting to his visionary leadership and professionalism. His achievements include winning the Property Man of the Year title at the FIABCI Malaysia Property Awards in 2007, representing Malaysia as the Country Winner in the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year 2012 ceremony in Monaco, being honoured by The Edge Malaysia with an Outstanding Property Personality Award, and being conferred a Lifetime Achievement Award for Property and Philanthropic Leadership by the World Chinese Economic Forum. He was named as Malaysia’s Outstanding CEO in 2013 by The Edge Billion Ringgit Club, and invited to be a judge on the 2014 and 2015 judging panel of the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year awards programme held in Monte Carlo, alongside other exceptional entrepreneurs from around the world. In 2018, the British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce’s (BMCC) Business Excellence Awards named him the UK-Malaysia Business Personality of the Year.