Malaysian billionaire to build 5,000 homes for poor Filipinos

terrancetanPETALING JAYA: Malaysian billionaire Vincent Tan has promised to build 5,000 homes for poor Filipinos, Philippine news portal Inquirer.net reported.

He is to carry out the project with the help of the Gawad Kalinga (GK) Community Development Foundation.

“The rich became rich because a lot of poor people supported their businesses,” Tan said during the 4th Global Social Business Summit held at the GK Enchanted Farm in Angkat, Bulacan, Manila.

Tan, founder of the Berjaya Group of companies, donated 100 million pesos (RM8.9 million) to GK in 2012.

This was part of his 300 million pesos (RM26.7 million) pledge for the construction of 3,000 homes for Filipinos hit by natural calamities.

Tan said Berjaya and GK had built 1,000 houses so far, the portal said.

“We committed 3,000 houses several years ago and if you build faster, we would like to commit 5,000 houses,” he said.

“I pledge half of my wealth to charitable work. The masses support our business and who are the masses? Many of them are poor,” Tan said.

He said they plan to replicate in Malaysia what GK had done in the Philippines and provide free shelter to poor Malaysian communities.

GK founder Antonio Meloto said Berjaya was one of GK’s most generous partners.

According to the foundation, there are 12 Berjaya-GK villages in the country, including the first two for survivors of Typhoon “Pablo” in Compostela Valley.