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Malaysia’s Elite Break Records With 2pc Surge In Forbes Rich List

KUALA LUMPUR: The combined fortunes of the richest featured in the 2024 Forbes Malaysia Rich List saw a modest uptick of 2 per cent, reaching a total of US$83.4 billion (RM398.8 billion), as reported by Forbes Asia.

Billionaire Robert Kuok maintained his position at the top of Forbes Asia’s list of Malaysia’s 50 richest individuals with a net worth of US$11.5 billion.

Leading the list once again is Robert Kuok, one of the world’s most seasoned billionaires, maintaining his top position with a net worth of US$11.5 billion.

Kuok laid the foundation of the Kuok Group 75 years ago in Johor Bahru.

Initially engaged in humble trades of sugar, rice, and wheat flour, Kuok eventually moulded it into a flourishing conglomerate.

Following closely is Quek Leng Chan, the executive chairman of Hong Leong Group (Malaysia), retaining his second spot with a net worth of US$8.8 billion, despite a slight dip from US$10.2 billion recorded last year.

Forbes Asia also reported that the top five rankings experienced some shifts.

The Teh siblings, who inherited a share in Public Bank Bhd from their late father, Teh Hong Piow, saw a slight uptick in their wealth, climbing to third position with a net worth of $5.4 billion.

This advancement displaced aluminium tycoons Koon Poh Keong and siblings, who slid to fifth place due to decreased prices and demand for the metal, leading to a drop in their net worth to US$5.3 billion from US$5.8 billion last year.

In the meantime, notable increases in property values propelled brothers Lee Yeow Chor and Yeow Seng into the top five rankings for the first time.

They secured the fourth position with a combined wealth of US$5.35 billion, marking an increase from US$4.6 billion last year.

Yeow Chor manages the family’s palm oil enterprise, IOI Corp Bhd, while Yeow Seng oversees IOI Properties Bhd, which is preparing to unveil a multibillion-dollar office complex in Singapore’s central business district.

Forbes Asia also reported that one of the standout success stories on this year’s roster is Tan Sri Francis Yeoh and his siblings, who witnessed the most remarkable surge in both monetary value and percentage gains.

Their combined wealth skyrocketed to US$4.7 billion, more than tripling from the previous year, catapulting them seven positions up to seventh place.

This surge in wealth can be credited to the achievements of their flagship enterprise, YTL Corporation Bhd.

This enterprise has partnered with US technology giant Nvidia to establish artificial intelligence (AI) infrastructure at its data centre park in Johor.

The latest edition of the list introduced four fresh faces, among them two sets of inheritors—the Chen family, positioned 18th with a wealth of US$1.1 billion, inherits the estate of casino tycoon Dr Chen Lip Keong, who passed away in December.

Likewise, the Gnanalingam family, ranked twelfth with a wealth of US$1.6 billion, consists of heirs of the late ports tycoon Tan Sri G Gnanalingam, who passed away in July last year.

According to Forbes Asia, the minimum net worth to qualify for the list was US$320 million, up from US$315 million in 2023.

The top 10 wealthiest individuals in Malaysia are Robert Kuok with US$11.5 billion, Quek Leng Chan with US$8.8 billion, the Teh siblings with US$5.4 billion, Lee Yeow Chor and Yeow Seng with US$5.35 billion, Koon Poh Keong and siblings with US$5.3 billion, Ananda Krishnan with US$4.8 billion, Tan Sri Francis Yeoh and siblings with US$4.7 billion, Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah with US$2.4 billion, Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay with US$2.2 billion, and Chia Song Kun with US$1.8 billion.

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