Curious to know who are the richest people in Malaysia? From the well-known “Sugar King” to high-flying AirAsia boss Tony Fernandes, these are the top 40 individuals who hold the most wealth in Malaysia.
#1 Robert Kuok (PPB Group Bhd) – RM49.9 billion
For many of us, Robert Kuok has been the richest man in Malaysia for a very, very long time. His wealth, estimated at nearly RM50 billion at the end of 2017, is more than double the next name on this list. In 2017, a year that was dotted by the return of high commodity prices and economic growth in this part of the world, Kuok made more money than any of the other billionaires in Malaysia.
#2 Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay (Genting Group) – RM23.8 billion
Genting has been a household name in Malaysia for decades, and Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay has turned the Genting Group from a one-hill casino wonder to an international gaming and entertainment company. The 65-year-old tycoon inherited the business empire built by his father and took it beyond the local shores in a far bigger way than the group had ever done. Work on a 20th Century Fox theme park is well underway and that will seal Genting Malaysia’s appeal as a huge tourism site, and last year, the group announced the development of its Resorts World New York City.
#3 Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow (Public Bank Bhd) – RM21.6 billion
Unlike the previous two billionaires, Teh has been a one-man show who built his wealth through the financial sector. The founder of Public Bank has been largely absent from the public eye for some time, as the 88-year-old banker juggles his time between the office and nurturing his health. The bank seems to be ageing like fine wine, going from strength to strength as its share price hit a record high in 2017.
#4 Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng (IOI Corp Bhd) – RM20.6 billion
IOI Corp has been the stellar plantation company for the longest time, as the group has had a phenomenal record of delivering growth organically and via acquisitions. By acquiring estates from the 1990s, IOI Corp has grown in size and profit, which has made Lee one of the country’s richest men. Its sprawling plantation empire is also complemented by the property business through IOI Properties Group Bhd that saw his wealth increasing by 8.4% last year to RM20.6bil.
#5 T. Ananda Krishnan (Usaha Tegas Sdn Bhd) – RM20.4 billion
After a big decline in his net worth in 2016, Ananda saw an increase of 2.5% to RM20.4bil from RM19.9bil in 2016, a gain of RM500mil from a year earlier. The near 30% increase in market capitalisation of O&G company Bumi Armada Bhd lifted Ananda’s wealth, while the other two heavyweight companies that he owns, Maxis Bhd and Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd, were either flat or up marginally.
#6 Tan Sri Lau Cho Kun (Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd) – RM17.6 billion
The Sabah-based tycoon saw a RM1.17bil increase in his net worth to RM17.6bil from RM16.4bil in 2016, and much of that is down to a stellar performance of Hap Seng Consolidated shares last year. Although Hap Seng is the largest independent distributor of Mercedes-Benz cars in Asia, which is run through the private family business, the diversified listed group on Bursa Malaysia has interests in plantations, building materials, fertilisers, automotive distribution and credit financing and has been busy in recent years.
#7 Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan (Hong Leong) – RM15.9 billion
The 75-year old tycoon has substantial stake in arguably the most number of listed companies with 16 spread through jurisdictions in Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. In Malaysia, Quek’s prized-asset remains his stake in Hong Leong Bank Bhd, which he owns through Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd (HLFG). Quek also controls London-listed gaming outfit Rank Group plc and has a 13.4% stake in Bank of East Asia of Hong Kong.
#8 Tan Sri Koon Poh Keong & Koon Poh Ming (Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd) – RM13.07 billion
2017 saw Press Metal Aluminium Holdings’ share price surging some 200% year-on-year, bolstering the Koon family’s wealth to RM13.07bil from RM3.71bil in 2016; and catapulting their position to eighth place on Malaysia’s top-40 richest list in 2017, up from the 14th spot in the preceding year. Part of the rise of Press Metal’s share price is the profit it makes from the aluminium business, and also operates aluminium extrusion plants in Malaysia and China.
#9 Kuan Kam Hon @ Kwan Kam Onn (Hartalega Holdings Bhd) – RM9.71 billion
Kuan is best known for his flagship Hartalega Holdings, where he is executive chairman. A self-made tycoon, Kuan, 71, founded the company in the early 1980s and was instrumental in growing it to become the world’s largest manufacturer and distributor of nitrile gloves. As at Dec 31, 2017, he had a 6% direct stake in Hartalega Holdings and an indirect stake of 49% via outfit Hartalega Industries.
#10 Tan Sri Dr Chen Lip Keong (NagaCorp) – RM9.31 billion
A medical doctor by training, Chen made his fortune through the gaming and tourism business. Chen’s flagship company is NagaCorp Ltd, in which he owns a 65.4% stake. The tycoon also controls Karambunai Corp Bhd, in which he has a 73.4% stake. NagaCorp is the largest hotel, gaming and leisure operator in Cambodia. It became the first company with operations in Cambodia to become a public-listed company in Hong Kong, as well as the first gaming-related company traded.
- Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay (YTL Corp Bhd) – RM9.22bil
- Tan Sri G. Gnanalingam (Westports Holdings Bhd) – RM5.74bil
- Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah (Sunway Bhd) – RM5.5bil
- Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary (MMC Corp Bhd) – RM5.25bil
- Tan Sri Lee Oi Hian & Datuk Lee Hau Hian (Batu Kawan Bhd) – RM4.25bil
- Chia Song Kun & family (QL Resources Bhd) – RM4.03bil
- Tan Sri Tony Fernandes & Datuk Kamarudin Meranun (AirAsia Bhd) – RM3.95bil
- Tan Sri Lum Wee Chai (Top Glove Corp Bhd) – RM3.79bil
- Wong Thean Soon & Datuk Norraesah Mohamad (My EG Services Bhd & Excel Force MSC Bhd) – RM3.36bil
- Goh Peng Ooi (Silverlake Axis Ltd) – RM2.99bil
- Tan Sri Ngau Book Keat (Dialog Group Bhd) – RM2.882bil
- Datuk Lim Kuang Sia (Kossan Holdings) – RM2.663bil
- Datuk Mohd Abdul Karim Abdullah, Abdul Kadier Sahib & Datuk Awang Daud Awang Putera (Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd) – RM2.499bil
- Datuk Seri Cheah Cheng Hye (Value Partners Group) – RM2.473bil
- Tan Sri Azman Hashim (Amcorp Group) – RM2.452bil
- Tan Sri Vincent Tan (Berjaya Group) – RM2.428bil
- Tan Sri Desmond Lim Siew Choon (Pavilion and Malton Bhd) – RM2.402bil
- Datuk Loh Kian Chong (Oriental Holdings Bhd) – RM2.349bil
- Lim Teck Meng & sons, Lim Peng Jin & Lim Peng Cheong (Scientex Bhd) – RM2.34bil
- Kong Chong Soon @ Chi Suim & Kong Pak Lim (UOA Development Bhd) – RM2.124bil
- Datuk Tan Heng Chew (Tan Chong Motor Holdings Bhd) – RM2.306bil
- Datuk Tan Chin Nam & Datuk Seri Robert Tan Chung Meng & families (Goldis Bhd & IGB Corp Bhd) – RM2.105bil
- Datuk Leong Kok Wah (Eco World Development Group Bhd, Eco World International Bhd & Salcon Bhd) – RM1.63bil
- Datuk Tee Eng Ho (Kerjaya Prospek Group Bhd) – RM1.622bil
- Yong Pang Chaun (Padini Holdings Bhd) – RM1.544bil
- Teong Teck Lean (GD Express Carrier Bhd) – RM1.439bil
- Tan Sri Ong Leong Huat (OSK Holdings & OSK Ventures International Bhd) – RM1.436bil
- Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum (Mah Sing Group Bhd) – RM1.242bil
- Gooi Seong Lim & brothers (Kim Loong Resources Bhd & Crescendo Corp Bhd) – RM1.175bil
- Datuk Lim Kian Lam (Ann Joo Resources Bhd) – RM1.172bil