Kuok remains Malaysia’s richest in Forbes list

by AZREEN HANI/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

SUGAR king Tan Sri Robert Kuok remains the nation’s richest with a fortune of $12.2 billion, (RM 50 billion) according to the 2021 Forbes Malaysia Rich List.

At the age of 97, Kuok is also the oldest in the list.

Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan, second-generation head of the privately held Hong Leong group, remains
at No. 2 with $9.6 billion (RM 39.58 billion).

Press Metal Aluminium Holdings CEO Tan Sri Koon Poh Keong, who shares a metals fortune with four siblings, was this year’s biggest dollar gainer.

Shares of their Press Metal Aluminium Holdings were up as the metal’s prices recovered, adding $3.4 billion to their wealth and propelling Koon and his brothers to third place with a net worth of $6.4 billion (RM 26.38 billion).

Returning to the list are Tan Sri Lim Kuang Sia (No. 14, $1.4 billion/ RM5.77 billion), who controls KossanRubber Industries with his siblings, and Stanley Thai (No. 20, $1.1 billion/ RM4.53 billion) who cofounded and runs Supermax Corp. with his wife Cheryl Tan.

There are five newcomers on this year’s list. Among them are brothers Tan Yu Yeh and Yu Wei of Mr D.I.Y. Group, a listed home improvement chain, who are the richest newcomers at No. 10 with $2.7 billion.

Tycoons on the 2021 Forbes Malaysia Rich List saw a rebound in their collective wealth as it rose 14% to nearly US$90 billion this year, after declining for two years. 

Seven from last year’s list dropped out, notably the AirAsia duo, Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, as the ongoing pandemic dimmed hopes of a revival in travel.

The minimum net worth to make the list this year was $315 million, up from $255 million last year.

The top 10 richest in Malaysia are:
1) Robert Kuok; US$12.2 billion
2) Quek Leng Chan; $9.6 billion
3) Koon Poh Keong & siblings; $6.4 billion
4) Ananda Krishnan; $5.8 billion
5) Teh Hong Piow; $5.5 billion
6) Lee Yeow Chor & Yeow Seng; $4.9 billion
7) Kuan Kam Hon; $3.8 billion
8) Lim Wee Chai; $3.5 billion
9) Chen Lip Keong; $3.4 billion
10) Tan Yu Yeh & Yu Wei; $2.7 billion

The complete list can be found at www.forbes.com/malaysia, as well as in the latest issue of Forbes Asia.