Prayers for a speedy recovery for The Vibes founder who cheated death thrice en route to a heart transplant

Editor’s note: We extend our sincere wishes and pray for the swift recovery of our media counterpart Datuk Vinod Sekhar (founder of The Vibes). All the best to him as he undergoes preparation for a heart transplant in Chennai, India soon. Below is a personal note he left on LinkedIn recently.


MANY of you already know I am now in Chennai going through the preparations for a heart transplant.

We tried to delay this inevitability since 2017 when doctors felt there were no longer any options. The pandemic forced my doctors to find ways of keeping me going while we waited for borders to safely open.

This involved daily jabs and 48 pills a day. But it worked and gave us hope that perhaps my heart could be maintained.

It kept me going enough to play a role in changing Malaysia and finally seeing my friend and brother Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim become the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia.

And just as things were getting really exciting a month into the new government, my short trip to India for five days turned into hospitalisation for seven weeks which included turning the plane around over the Indian Ocean.

That day, I nearly died three times – saved by my wife Winy – and some great doctors who were coincidentally on the flight back to Kuala Lumpur.

The following weeks in hospital confirmed that (my) time was up. Waiting longer could lead to a catastrophic event and that I have to proceed with a heart transplant. And so here we are. I know I am in the hands of one of the best transplant teams in the world.

I know I have my family with me, the prayers and love of my friends and I believe in God, so I enter this phase, perhaps the greatest challenge of my life, with an open heart (no pun intended) and the belief that what is meant to be will be.

Perhaps this is my time or perhaps this is what needs to happen to keep me around so I can continue to do what I do. The universe works in mysterious ways but is always right.

While I’m away, the Petra Group will be in the sound and able hands of my colleagues and partners in Malaysia, Singapore, India, Hong Kong, the UK, Australia and the US – great chief executives, leaders and partners in all the companies globally, and the over 1,000 staff supporting them.

There is so many exciting developments in the group from vanilla plantations, F&B (food & beverage), digital, modular homes, news and media, film to green rubber and bio tech. And the soon to be announced return of the Good Capitalism Forum. And of course, while Winy and I are away, the Vinod Sekhar Foundation will still do what it needs to. I will just have to miss some of the excitement for a while.

If all goes well I will be away for two to three months. Please say a good word for me to the Big Man. Though I think I’m on good terms with him – every prayer helps.

I will not be going silently into the night. Kicking and screaming is the only way. I love this life so much. And the blessing I’ve been given. No regrets.

I ask for all your forgiveness if I have done anything that has caused you sadness – and I forgive all unconditionally.

Life is short my friends. Live it. And more importantly bring as many as you can on the ride. Create as many smiles as you can. What’s is it all about if not for that.

God bless you all, God bless and help my Prime Minister, God bless Malaysia and God bless my not so perfect self. – April 28, 2023

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