26 May 2006
Here are some mind-boggling facts - Malaysia's 40 richest businessmen
are worth a collective US$26 billion (RM95.4 billion). Also, the
country's nine billionaires account for a whopping 82 per cent of that
The man at the top, Robert Kuok, has been Southeast Asia's richest
man for years. In contrast, there are 12 people worth less than US$100
Forbes Asia, which compiled the list, estimated that most of the
40 richest are entirely or mostly self-made, having built fortunes in
diverse sectors such as ceramic tiles, airlines and banks.
Commodities such as rubber, timber and palm oil are the biggest source of fortunes.
To compile this list, the magazine looked at shareholdings in
publicly-listed companies as well as in private company filings. For
people with publicly-traded fortunes, net worths were calculated using
current share prices and exchange rates. For privately held fortunes,
it estimated what companies and assets would be worth if they are
1. Tan Sri Robert Kuok US$5.6b (RM20.55b) - 83
Got started in 1949 trading rice, sugar and wheat flour. Today heads
multinational Kuok Group and owns Pacific Carriers Ltd, a leading
dry-bulk shipper in the pacific basin; air cargo company Transmile
Group and 10 Coca-Cola bottling plants in China.
2. Tan Sri Ananda Krishnan US$4.6b (RM16.88b) - 68
Former oil trader's holdings include Maxis Communications, Tanjong Plc and racetrack betting and lottery systems.
3. Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow US$2.1b (RM7.71b) - 76
Former bank clerk used profits from real estate deals to open small
bank in 1966. Today Public Bank is the second-largest lender in
4. Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng US$2.05b (RM7.52b) - 67
Started out as field supervisor in plantation industry. Now heads IOI,
with interests in palm oil, property development and hotels.
5. Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan US$2b (RM7.34b) - 65
Heads Hong Leong Group Malaysia and Asian financial services giant Guoco Group.
6. Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong US$1.5b (RM5.51b) - 88
Former public works contractor turned his idea for hilltop resort on
outskirts of Kuala Lumpur into one of the world's most successful
7. Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay US$1.1b (RM4.01b) - 76
Patriarch of Yeoh family heads YTL Corp, with interests in construction, utilities, hotels, property development and technology.
8. Tan Sri Tiong Hiew King US$1.05b (RM3.85b) - 70
His Rimbunan Hijau Group has operations in Malaysia, New Zealand and
Africa. His publishing house, Ming Pao Enterprises, has introduced
local editions of Chinese-language daily Ming Pao in cities like San
Francisco, New York, Vancouver and Toronto.
9. Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar AlBukhary US$1b (RM3.67b) - 54
Started out as rice trader. Today controls Malaysia Mining Corporation
(MMC), container port Tanjung Pelepas and nearby Senai Airport and has
stakes in an automaker and book retailer.
10. Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay US$440m (RM1.61b) - 54
Became chairman of Genting Group when his father, Lim Goh Tong (number
6), retired in late 2003. Has been key driver of its Star Cruises,
world's third-largest cruise line.
11. Tan Sri Azman Hashim US$405m (RM1.49b) - 66
Forty-six-year veteran of banking industry. Bought own bank in 1982 and eventually built it into diversified AM Group.
12. Tan Sri Vincent Tan US$355m (RM1.30b) - 54
Acquired Berjaya in 1984, built in into conglomerate with interests in
financial services, hotels, theme parks, lotteries, education, real
estate and manufacturing.
13. Tan Sri Kua Sian Kooi US$285m (RM1.05b) - 54
14. Datuk Lim Wee Chai US$210m (RM770m) - 48
Son of rubber plantation owners and traders, he and wife started
trading latex gloves in 1991 and opened first factory the next year.
Today his Top Glove is one of the world's largest producers of rubber
15. Datuk Anthony Fernandes US$205m (RM752m) - 42
Spent 14 years as music industry executive, lastly running all of
Warner Music's operations in Southeast Asia before quitting to launch
what is now Asia's biggest discount airline, AirAsia.
16. Datuk Vinod Sekhar US$200m (RM734m) - 37
Founder and majority owner of privately held Petra Group. Among its
many technologies, one of the most promising is involved in "green
rubber", a revolutionary process to cheaply and efficiently recycle
17. Tan Sri G. Gnanalingam US$170m (RM623.9m) - 62
Chairs Westport, the largest privately owned port in Malaysia, which he started in 1994.
18. Kamarudin Meranun US$165m (RM605.6m) - 45
Quiet bean counter helps more public partner Fernandes (number 15) run
AirAsia. Kamarudin is the airline's executive director, looking after
19. Puan Sri Chong Chook Yew US$145m (RM532.2m) - 84
List's only female chairs Selangor Properties. Became chairperson after
the death of her husband and Selangor founder, Wen Tien Kuang.
20. Tan Sri Hamdan Mohamad US$140m (RM513.9m) - 50
Runs Ranhill Group of companies, which includes power and utilities firms.
21. Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah US$125m (RM458.8m)
Started with a tin mining company in 1974. Has built the Sunway Group
of companies, which develop properties, run tolls and many quarries.
22. Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal Abu Bakar US$120m (RM440.4m) - 57
He and partner K.L. Palaniappan (number 40) built up MK Land, now one of the country's largest property development firms.
23. Datuk Abdul Hameed Sepawi US$120m (RM440.4m) - 55
Heads timber outfit Ta Ann.
24. Ahmayuddin Ahmad US$115m (RM422.1m) - 50
Board member, along with G. Gnanalingam (number 17) of Westport.
25. Datuk Syed Mohd Yusof Syed Nasir US$110m (RM403.7m) - 59
Former chairman of Southern Bank Berhad. He remains chairman of Killinghall, one of Southern Bank's largest shareholders.
26. Datuk Lee Hau Hian US$100m (RM367m) - 53
Datuk Lee Oi Hian US$100m (RM367m) - 55
Datuk Lee Soon Hian US$100m (RM367m) - 49
Sons of late rubber baron Lee Loy Seng have equal holdings in two
listed companies: Chemicals company Batu Kawan and Kuala Lumpur Kepong,
former rubber company that expanded into other commodities like palm
oil and also owns retailer Crabtree & Evelyn.
29. Datuk Tiah Thee Kian US$95m (RM348.7m) - 58
Runs TA Enterprise. Aside from sprawling interests in financial
services, which include stockbroking, asset management and derivatives,
also has property arm that operates in Malaysia, Australia, Canada and
South Africa. Tiah's wife, who has a degree in economics, is the
29. Tan Sri Tan Teong Hean US$95m (RM348.7) - 63
Chief executive director of Southern Bank Berhad for 23 years until
bank was bought out in May. Remains chairman of MasterCard
International's Asia Pacific board and a member of MasterCard
International's global board.
29. Datuk Lim Thian Kiat US$95m (RM348.7) - 57
Former head of Multi-Purpose Holdings, one of Malaysia's biggest
conglomerates. Resigned in 1999 after big losses at the group. Still
retains stakes in some of its public entities.
32. Datuk Yaw Teck Seng US$90m (RM330.3m) - 68
Head and founder of the Samling group, considered second-largest timber
group in Sarawak, after billionaire Tiong Hiew King's (number 8). Has
two listed companies, Lingui Developments and Glenealy Plantations.
33. Datuk Lim Tong Yong US$85m (RM311.9m) - 56
Chief executive of the Pantai Group, the largest chain of private
hospitals in Malaysia. Was bought out of group in September last year
by Parkway, Singapore's leading hospital chain. Still retains small
stake in Pantai; has shares in listed soapmaker Paos.
34. John Chia US$80m (RM293.6m) - 54
Only high-tech tycoon to make the cut, Chia is the chairman of Unisem, a semiconductor testing and packaging firm.
34. Tan Sri Rozali Ismail US$80m (RM293.6m) - 50
Executive chairman of Puncak Niaga, a water-treatment firm that treats the water of Kuala Lumpur, among other places.
36. Ong Leong Huat US$75m (RM275.3m) - 62
Runs OSK group, which includes three publicly listed groups: Financial
services firm OSK Holdings, OSK Property and OSK Ventures.
36. Datuk Seri Lau Cho Kun US$75m (RM275.3m)
Big shareholder in Malaysian Mosaics, maker of tiles. Also has interests in property development, plantations and trading.
38. Tan Sri William Cheng US$70m (RM256.9m) - 63
Head of Lion Group of varied businesses including steel manufacturing
and retailing as well as plantation management. President of the
Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Malaysia.
39. Shaari Ismail US$70m (RM256.9m) - 63
Elder brother of Rozali (number 34) also a shareholder in Puncak Niaga but has no executive role.
40. Datuk K.L. Palaniappan US$65m (RM238.6m) - 63
Trained as architect, Kasi is now second-largest individual shareholder in MK Land after Mustapha Kamal Abu Bakar (number 22).
Saturday, May 27, 2006
Malaysia's 40 richest
New Straits Times - Malaysia News Online