Koon Yew Yin
1st Jan 2013

On 28th Dec 2012, I celebrated my 80th birthday. A few guests asked me how I have managed to live so long and happy. I am sure all of you would like to know how I did it. Even my cardiologist said that I may be holding the Malaysian record for being alive after inheriting a blood cholesterol disease and having undergone heart bypass surgery in May 1983. Moreover, I do not have aches and pain which are common for elderly people.

This is what I do:

1. Every day I walk for around 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening. When there is rain, I walk about in my house.
2. I must remember that physical movement will reduce stress which can shorten my life. As I spend most of my time on the computer, reading, writing or watching TV, I must not sit down for more than one hour at a time. I must stand up and walk a few steps.
3. I have developed a habit of taking a few deep breaths whenever I remember. I can do it at any time, while sitting, driving or waiting for something. I always take a few deep breaths before I go to sleep.
4. When I wake up I usually drink 2 glasses of water. I eat only fruits and drink a cup of coffee for breakfast. Pineapple is my favourite fruit. I do not eat anything until lunch. In between I may drink some water. In this way I can keep my weight down.
5. I drink one glass of wine with my lunch and I have a nap for about an hour. I also drink another glass of wine before I sleep every night. Wine will improve blood circulation and reduce stress.
6. After my afternoon nap, I make a pot of Chinese tea which keeps me awake so that I can enjoy the rest of my day.

This is what I do for my mental health:

Always keep your mind occupied by reading, writing, playing computer, managing my share investment or watching TV. This will slow down the loss of memory.
1. Although I have completely retired from executive work as company director for which I was paid, I am now working harder and longer hours than before and no one pays me a salary. I find working is the most wonderful entertainment and I enjoy doing what I am doing.
2. After having lived for so long, I accept human weaknesses and forgive those who irritate me. Why should I feel angry just because someone misbehaves? I have only a few close friends and they do not mind if I do something stupid.
3. Avoid working more than an hour at a time, have a short break. Take a holiday once a week. Occasionally go for longer holidays for a change of environment.
4. I must mention my wife’s important contribution. She takes care of my daily needs without which I would not have lived so long and happy.
5. I love my wife, I love myself and people in general. I enjoy all the good things in life.
6. I also love music, especially classical music. It keeps me calm and smoothen my life. I think it also keeps my blood pressure down.
7. I frequently see my doctor to check my blood pressure which is most important if you want to live a long life.


I always try to create happiness. I must always remember that when I die I cannot take anything with me. I will spend almost all my wealth to help poor and needy people. I concentrate my charity in helping poor students to complete their tertiary education. I believe education is the best way to help poor families.

Those students whose family income is less than Rm 2,000 per month can apply for my scholarships as advertised in website: Lim Kit Siang blog or cpiasia.net. I have given scholarships to more than 100 poor students. I frequently I receive letters informing me that they have passed their final degree exam and I would feel so happy and satisfied.

All my scholarship recipients do not need to repay the money I spent on them. Instead, they have to promise me that when they are in a good financial position, they must remember that when they needed help, I helped them and that they must help other poor students. I will die happily knowing that this change effect will create more and more charity workers.

The key to my success:

The biggest obstacle to success is fear. The greatest failure is lack of faith and the root of all failures is egotism.
You are in control of your life. You can choose either to be happy or sad. One very easy way to be happy is to appreciate what you already have and that you do not need any more. Always count your blessings.

I wish you and your family a happy new year.
Koon Yew Yin

Foot note: Koon Yew Yin was one of the founders of IJM Corporation Bhd

    19 replies to "How to Live a Long and Happy Life"

    • Fintan Ooi

      A belated Happy Birthday to a happy man whom I admire and respect. Thank you for all you’ve done for society. May more people emulate your healthy life-style and good deeds.

    • Raj

      A very happy birthday to an erudite person who is more than willing to share his bountiful experience. You have had a memorable “innings” and long may you carry on. Cheers

    • khong khek khuat



      Mr Koon [The Taikoon]

      Happy Birthday

      And many happy returns of the day

      I am no stranger to you. We were

      serving in the same Board…

      We should meet. We would have a lot

      to talk about. I am impressed with

      your comments in sakmonmgkol !

      E-mail me.


      • KCLau

        On behalf of Mr.Koon Yew Yin, I would like thank everyone here who posted a birthday wish to this noble person we all admire.

        The winner of the book is Jackson Au. Congratulations!

    • Chandru Adnani

      Dear Mr. Koon Yew Yin, Wishing you a very Happy Birthday and Happy New Year.
      May God continue to bless you with a long, happy and healthy life…..may God gives you continuous strength to do the good work that you are doing….This world will become a better place if every man emulates your wisdom and way of life……God bless…..

    • tan may ling

      Hqppy birthday, may all 80 years olds be as alert as you!

    • Juraida Johari

      Happy Birthday Mr. Koon Yew Yin and Happy New Year. Very interesting story and sharing about healthy, wealthy and your successful life. The more we give, the more we get. Help people needed and give love, attract people to love us back

    • anne

      Mr Koon, a very Happy Birthday to you.
      Thank you for sharing this gem of an advice ..
      I make sure my husband reads this article.
      He seriously needs to slow down and smell the roses.

    • kemmy

      Dear Mr Koon

      Happy Belated Birthday! May God continue to bless you with good health, wealth, love , joy and peace!

    • Dr C K Low

      Dear Yew Kin,
      I think of something that I have learnt recently from the book of Proverbs chapter 3 of the Bible.
      It looks like God has given you a measure of his wisdom, for you to like to this ripe age, and manly more years. These 7 pillars of wisdom include long life, riches, honour, joy, peace, fulfilment and a tree of life.
      Certainly you have been a tree of life, giving the fruits of your charity to empower others through your scholarship.
      May God grant you many long and fruitful years, and may you have the joy of seeing your children’s children’s children.
      Many Blessings. Dr Low

    • Kumarendra

      Wishing Mr.Koon Yew Yin a Very Happy Birthday and Thank You for being a Man who Gives with an Open Heart. If only we all can emulate you and bring the action of “Pay It Forward”, the World Can definitely be a much better place!

    • eddie

      Happy Birthday Mr Koon. I always enjoy your articles which are written from the heart and with a passion for life. I also enjoy the philosopy behind your advices.You are a true Malaysian who have contributed so much to society through your donations,advices and deeds.If Malaysia have more Mr Koons, I am sure this will be a better place to live.Keep up the good work and may God bless you for your endeavours.

    • ML POON

      Mr Koon,

      The world is indeed blessed to have someone like you – willing to share your knowledge and wealth with the less fortunate. Wishing you a happy belated 80th birthday and many more to come….

      Your key to success and happiness is so true…. Wealth does not equate with
      success and happiness…… If we can be contented with our achievements and
      what we have, then happiness with follow.

      God bless

    • Mike KM Ng

      Dear Mr Koon,

      Happy belated birthday to you and may your maker grant you many more happy, healthy & fruitful years to come.
      The first time I hear your voice was over a morning radio talk program, where you spoke about your IJM days & also where a group of legal minded people wanting to raise money for charity. When you offer to match them dollar for dollar for what they could raise, their true intentions for charity was as glaring as day light.
      You never sound like you were moving into 80 years.
      Thanks for sharing your wealth & knowledge to the people of Malaysia.
      Thanks to KC Lau for hosting this page, so as to enable people to comment & wish Mr Koon Yew Yin, the best of health, & the generosity of his wealth.

      Best Wishes,

      Mike Ng

    • Tan Ging Tuang

      Happy Birthday and many more year to come. A great philanthropist to the poor.

    • Janice

      Dear Mr Koon,
      Happy Birthday & Happy New Year 2013 to you and family.

      i admired & saluted for your love to the country and great contribution to the people through education. Another important point are your courage to speak up on behalf of the citizen with the hopes for a better government. Thank you.

    • jackson au

      “What Makes a Man a Man, A friend once wondered. Is it his origins, the way he comes to life? I don’t think so. Its the choices he makes; not how he starts things but how he decides to end things.”

      Mr. Koon Yew Yin is a great man…..his generosity to help the poor students by giving them Scholarships to further their tertiary education is simply the best choices that he had made in his entire life. All his scholarship recipients do not need to repay the money that he has spent on them but rather to follow his exemplary life by helping other poor students when they are in good financial position.

      His noble way in guiding the scholarship recipients to do likewise will definitely create a cycle that passes from generation to generation which benefit many poor students and children to escape poverty for many generations to come.

      Mr. Koon Yew Yin is a great man!!!
      Wishing him a Very Happy 80th Birthday and many more to come….

    • Quintina

      ?????????????????????????,Mr Koon.????????????????????

      • kamal s. bhatt

        I am really excited very much for such an important and most valuable information in regard to health
        which is very crutial and important too. As everybody know, health is everything…..Thanks a lot.

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