Syed Mokhtar Albukhary was born on the 12th of 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.
In 1961, Syed Mokhtar moved to Johor Bahru where he spent the next 6 years before returning to Alor Setar where he attended St. Michaels Institution. While still schooling, he got involved in his father’s cattle Business to help him. This would mark Syed Mokhtar’s first involvement in Business.
In his biography, Syed Mokhtar stated that his philanthropic work began in earnest in 1976 when he pledged half of his salary to 15 under privileged families and the other half to his mother and siblings. 20 years later In 1996, he founded the Albukhary Foundation and remains to be its primary benefactor.
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.
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.
With money saved from his involvement in his father’s cattle Business, Syed Mokhtar began venturing into Business on his own.