Syed Mokhtar Albukhary

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Syed Mokhtar Albukhary

Syed Mokhtar Shah bin Syed Nor Albukhary

(1951-12-12) December 12, 1951 (age 67)
OccupationFounder, Albukhary Group of Companies, Albukhary Foundation
Known forBusiness, Philanthropy
Spouse(s)Sharifah Zarah Albukhary

Tan Sri Dato' Seri Syed Mokhtar Shah bin Syed Nor Albukhary (born December 12, 1951)[1] is a Malaysian businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is the founder of the Albukhary Foundation, an international non-profit charity organization that focuses on social development.

Early life[edit]

Syed Mokhtar Albukhary was born on 12 December 1951, the third child of Syed Nor and Sharifah Rokiah in Kampung Hutan Keriang, Alor Setar Kedah. His family traces its roots to Central Asia.[2]

In 1961, Syed Mokhtar moved to Johor Bahru where he spent the next 6 years before returning to Alor Setar where he attended St. Michael's Institution. While still schooling, he got involved in his father’s cattle business.[2]

Not long after, an outbreak of Foot-and-mouth disease collapsed the company. This led to Syed Mokhtar abandoning his studies a few months prior to completing his Secondary 5, as his family could not afford to pay for his examination fees.[2] With money saved from his involvement in his father’s cattle business, Syed Mokhtar began venturing into business on his own.[2][page needed]


The Albukhary Group of Companies is a diversified business group consisting of DRB-Hicom, MMC and Tradewinds.[3][2]


Syed Mokhtar began his philanthropic work in 1976 when he pledged half of his salary to 15 underprivileged families and the other half to his mother and siblings. Twenty years later, in 1996, he founded the Albukhary Foundation and today remains its primary benefactor.[2] As of 2013 his donations have exceeded $500 million. In 2014 he was recognized by Forbes Asia as a Hero of Philanthropy due to his contribution to refugees in Pakistan, orphans in Guinea and disaster victims in China, Indonesia and Iran.[4]

The Albukhary Foundation

The Albukhary Foundation is an international non-profit charitable organization headquartered in Malaysia which was founded on the Islamic values of faith (Taqwa) and compassion (Ehsan). Since it is founded on Islamic values, the foundation does not discriminate on the grounds of race, nationality, ethnic origin and religion.[5]

Albukhary International University (AiU)

The Albukhary International University was founded in 2010 and is located within the Sharifah Rokiah Centre of Excellence. The University is housed within a purpose built campus and is spread over 30 hectares in Alor Setar.[5]

Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

The museum was founded in 1998 and is located within Kuala Lumpur’s Lake Gardens. It houses more than ten thousand artefacts from across the Muslim world, as well as a library of Islamic art books. The museum has a total of 12 Galleries.[6]

The museum has won a number of domestic and international awards and is one of the most visited museums in Malaysia.[7][8]

In 2015, the British Museum announced[9] the opening of a new gallery to redisplay all the collections of the Islamic world. The gallery would be known as The Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic World and is set to open in October 2018.[10]

Albukhary Scholarship Program

Founded in 2005, Albukhary Scholarship program supports economically disadvantaged students worldwide. The scholarships are offered to students of the Prince's School of Traditional Arts, Oxford University, IBN Haldun University, University of York, Philanthropy University and 17 universities in Malaysia, including AIU.[11] The program offers five types of scholarships, the Albukhary Equity Scholarship, Regional Awards, Leadership, Academic & Service Excellence Awards, Campus Residence Grant, and the Refugee Education Dream (RED) Scholarship which is available to all refugees and asylum seekers registered with UNHCR Malaysia.[12]



  1. ^ Wong, Chun Wai (16 December 2018). "A touch of class - On The Beat". The Star (Malaysia). Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Premilla,, Mohanlall,. Syed Mokhtar Albukhary : a biography. PrinAd Sdn Bhd. Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. ISBN 9789674158064. OCLC 825941389.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  3. ^ "Syed Mokhtar AlBukhary". Forbes. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  4. ^ Koppisch, John. "48 Heroes Of Philanthropy". Forbes. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Home — Albukhary International University". Albukhary International University. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  6. ^ "IAMM | Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia". Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  7. ^ "Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia - Kuala Lumpur Attractions". Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  8. ^ "Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur): Top Tips Before You Go (with Photos) - TripAdvisor". Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  9. ^ "Gallery of the Islamic World". British Museum. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  10. ^ "Albukhary Foundation initiates new gallery on Islamic world at British Museum - Nation | The Star Online". Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  11. ^ "Albukhary Scholarship Programme – Albukhary Foundation". Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  12. ^ Services, WebWay E. "Scholarships in Malaysia -". Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  13. ^ a b c d "Semakan Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat". Prime Minister's Department (Malaysia).
  14. ^ "Malacca Yang Di-Pertua Negeri Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob's birthday honours list". The Star (Malaysia). 18 October 2010. Retrieved 18 September 2019.