Singapore — The family foundation of Indonesian tycoon Bachtiar Karim has given S$200,000 to show its support for Badminton World champion Loh Kean Yew. This appears to be the single largest donation to date for Loh.
Mr Karim heads one of the world’s biggest family-owned palm oil conglomerates, Musim Mas, which is headquartered in Singapore. Their net worth is estimated to be around US$3.5 billion (S$4.7 billion).
Speaking for the Karim Family Foundation, his daughter Cindy Karim said they were “inspired” by the humility and the perseverance that Loh, 24, showed, after having won the world championship last month in Huelva, Spain.
“We hope to inspire future Loh Kean Yews in Singapore,” she added.
She underlined the foundation’s dedication to supporting sports development, art and culture, mental health and education. It was established by the family of Mr Karim and his wife Dewi Sukwanto. Forbes magazine lists Mr Karim as the 10th richest man in Indonesia for 2021.
The Business Times reported on Wednesday (Jan 12) that the donation is being made through The Community Foundation of Singapore.
Last month, after it became known that Loh got only a medal, headlines and public plaudits for winning the Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Championships singles title. fans in Singapore quickly raised S$50,000 to support the shuttler.
Avid badminton player Wei Chan, a member of the Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) management committee, created the Loh Kean Yew Encouragement Fund, and put up a crowdfunding effort on the Ray of Hope platform on Jan 2, 2022.
So far, some 700 contributors are known to have raised S$165,299 for Loh. And with the gift from the Karim family, this would add up to some S$365,299.
“Having gone through rigorous training of sorts, I know the amount of sheer hardwork, perseverance, tenacity and grit that is required for Loh Kean Yew to achieve what he did, love for the game aside,” wrote Mr Wei.
“I felt compelled to do something to thank him for what he has achieved for himself and Singapore, and further encourage him towards his badminton hope and dreams.”
A Jan 5 report in The Straits Times says that Loh could be in for a “windfall of about $1 million in sponsorship and contributions” after winning the world championship.
ST added it understands that “a multimillion, six-figure deal” between SBA and Loh is in the works.
On Tuesday (Jan 11), Loh continued his winning streak by advancing to the second round of the India Open.
Read also: Loh Kean Yew proceeds to second round at India Open
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