Like any country, Malaysia has some citizens that are living below the poverty line and others who live very comfortable lifestyles due to their wealth. The country is even home to multimillionaires and billionaires who are rich due to their professional success or because they have inherited huge sums of money. Some of Malaysia’s richest people have grown their net worth’s over many decades, while others have enjoyed a faster road to success. Here are the 10 richest people in Malaysia and an overview of how they accrued their wealth.
10. Tan Yu Yeh & Yu Wei, $2.7 Billion
Mr. D.I.Y. Group is a home improvement chain that was founded in 2005. It has 684 stores across Malaysia, plus a further four stores in Brunei. Each of the stores sells products in a wide range of categories, including electronics, stationery, and toys. Tan Yu Yeh and Yu Wei became wealthy thanks to their stakes in the company. After the company was listed on the Malaysian stock exchange in 2020, the duo became billionaires overnight.
9. Chen Lip Keong, $3.4 Billion
Chen Lip Keong has a net worth of $3.4 billion, and he has made his money from the gambling industry. He owns NagaWorld, which is the largest casino resort in Indochina. In Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, Chen Lip Keong has a casino license until 2065. NagaCorp is the first casino doing business primarily in Cambodia, and it is also the first company of its kind to be listed on the stock exchange in Hong Kong.
8. Lim Wee Chai, $3.5 Billion
Lim Wee Chai co-founded Top Glove in 1991, along with his wife, Tong Siew Bee. It is the world’s largest producer of rubber gloves, and it went public in 1991. In addition to owning Top Glove, Lim Wee Chai also has stakes in Tropicana, a property development company, and sits on the company’s board. His parents own a rubber plantation.
7. Kuan Kan Hon & Family, $3.8 Billion
Kuan Kan Hon is an excellent example of how you do not always need a higher-level education to succeed in the world. After dropping out of high school in 1969, Kuan Kam Hon began a career in construction. At first, he worked for his father’s company building luxury homes. However, Kuan Kam Hon decided to branch out on his own, so he founded the textile manufacturing business Timol Weaving in 1978. He also founded Hartalega Holdings, a nitrile glove company, in 1988. His wealth increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic as the demand for protective clothing grew.
6. Lee Yeow Chor & Yeow Seng, $4.9 Billion
Brothers Lee Yeow Chor and Yeow Seng are the sons of Lee Shin Cheng, who passed away in 2019. After their father’s death, the brothers inherited a property and palm oil empire that their father built, along with their father’s stakes in the IOI group. Yeow Seng studied law and then became the vice-chairman of IOI Properties, while Lee Yeow Chor earned his law degree at King’s College in London and is not group managing director and chief executive of the IOI Corporation.
5. Teh Hong Piow, $5.5 Billion
In 1966, Teh Hong Piow founded the Public Bank which has customers in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, China, and Cambodia. After many decades as the chairman of the company, he retired from the company in 2019. However, Teh Hong Piow has retained stakes in the bank, and he also has stakes in LPI Capital, an insurance business. His career in the finance sector means the former businessman has a net worth of $5.5 billion.
4. Ananda Krishnan, $5.8 Billion
Ananda Krishnan is a former oil trader and a graduate of Harvard Business School. The businessman has stakes in various sectors, including the oilfield services provider Bumi Armada, the media firm Astro Malaysia Holdings, and telecom company Maxis. In the past, Krishnan invested $7 billion in the Indian telecom firm Aircel. However, in 2018, Aricel filed for bankruptcy protection. In his personal life, Ananda Krishnan is married with two daughters and a son. Despite some downturns in his fortunes, Ananda Krishnan has a net worth of $5.8 billion.
3. Koon Poh Keong & Siblings, $6.4 Billion
Press Metal Aluminium Holdings was founded in 1986 by Koon Poh Keong and his four brothers. It is the success of this company that has given the family a net worth of $6.4 billion. To launch the company, the brothers pooled all their money, and they had a total of $50,000 to get the business up and running. Now, it is the largest integrated aluminum producer in Southeast Asia.
2. Quek Leng Chan, $9.6 Billion
The second richest person in Malaysia is Quek Leng Chen, who has a net worth of $9.6 billion. He is the chairman of Hong Leong Co., which has interests in property, food, and finance. Although his professional success accounts for a large proportion of his wealth, Quek Leng Chana also inherited some of his fortunes from his father, who started a banking group in the 1920s with his two brothers. Quek Leng Chan’s cousin is billionaire Kwek Leng Beng, who is the chair of the Hong Leong Group. Quek Leng Chan is married with three children.
1. Robert Kuok, $12.2 Billion
According to Forbes, the richest man in Malaysia is Robert Kuok, who has a net worth of $12.2 billion. He is known as the owner of the Kuok Group, which includes interests in hotels, commodities, and real estate. In 1971, Kuok founded the Singaporean Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts chain. He also has a stake in Wilmar International, which is run by his nephew, Kuok Khoon Hong. Business success runs in the family, as Kuok’s youngest son, Kuok Khoon Hua, is the CEO and vice chairman of Kerry Properties, a property company.
Written by Dana Hanson
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