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It’s April, and as always, Forbes has dropped its World’s Billionaires List, which is updated and published annually.

17 Malaysians have made the cut this year, with the majority of them being returning names. But we have a couple of new billionaires, as well as a few who are missing from the list.

Across the globe, Forbes reported that there are now more billionaires than ever—2,781 in all, which is 141 more than last year. They also reported that these billionaires are richer than ever, worth US$14.2 trillion in total.

In Malaysia, though, it seems like the richest few have lowered net worths compared to last year, possibly because of the exchange rate.

In any case, here are the Malaysian billionaires highlighted by Forbes’ list this year.

The frequenters

The top 10 Malaysians on the list

No introductions needed, Robert Kuok (who turned 100 last October!) tops the chart once again with a net worth of US$11.4 billion, which is a dip from last year’s US$11.8 billion. Last year, he had been 146th richest in the world, but that has dropped to 176th this year.

The second Malaysian on the list is Quek Leng Chan, the 287th richest man in the world. With a net worth of US$.8.8 billion, the 82-year-old is the executive chairman of Hong Leong Co. (Malaysia).

Third is Ananda Krishnan, whose net worth is US$4.9 billion, a drop from last year’s US$5.2 billion. He got his wealth from a diverse portfolio of holdings.

The 871st richest billionaire in the world is Koon Poh Keong with a net worth of US$3.7 billion. He is the group CEO of aluminium company Press Metal.

Next up is Lee Yeow Chor, who has grown his net worth from last year, going from US$2.8 billion to US$3.1 billion. You’ll know him as one of two inheritors of stakes from IOI Group, which was built by his father.

His brother Lee Yeow Seng follows him on the list, his net worth having grown from US$1.6 billion to US$2.3 billion.

Also having a US$2.3 billion net worth is 72-year-old Lim Kok Thay, the chairman of Genting. He has maintained his net worth from last year.

Kie Chie Wong, who debuted on the list in 2022, is number 1,496. Forbes reported that he gets the bulk of his wealth from a minority stake in Fortescue Metals Group. His net worth has increased from US$1.8 billion to US$2.2 billion.

Jeffrey Cheah, the man behind the Sunway empire is next, with a net worth of US$2 billion, a jump from 2023’s US$1.2 billion.

The largest shareholder in Hap Seng Consolidated, Lau Cho Kun, makes the list at number 2,046 with a net worth of US$1.5 billion. The company’s focus is in palm oil and property.

The subsequent seven Malaysian billionaires on the list

At joint 2,152nd place are siblings Diona Teh Li Shian, Lillian Teh Li Ming, Lillyn Teh Li Hua, and William Teh Lee Pang. The three sisters became the first female Malaysians to be billionaires last year, after the passing of their father, Teh Hong Piow, who chaired Public Bank for decades. They have a net worth of US$1.4 billion.

At number 2,287 is Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary. With a net worth of US$1.3 billion, the 72-year-old started as a rice trader after dropping out of high school.

The newbies

Lim Chai Hock and Cheah Cheng Hye / Image Credit: Bayan Resources / HKEX Group

We have two new Malaysian billionaires on the list this year.

The first is Lim Chai Hock, the COO and director of Bayan Resources, which is the third-largest coal producer in Indonesia. Now 64 years old, Lim had cofounded the Bayan Group, and also sits on the board of a few subsidiaries.

According to Forbes, prior to joining Bayan Group, he worked as a site manager with Jaya Sumpiles Indonesia, which is a coal mining infrastructure company.

He has a Malaysian citizenship, Forbes reported, but resides in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Cheah Cheng Hye makes his debut on the list at number 2,692, making him the last Malaysian billionaire on the list this year.

A fund manager, Cheah Cheng Hye is the co-chairman and co-chief investment officer of Value Partners Group.  

The 70-year-old had cofounded the asset management company in 1993, and listed it in 2007 in Hong Kong where he resides.

Forbes reported that Cheah graduated from Penang Free School and had a stint working as a subeditor and writer at The Star newspaper in Malaysia.

The absentees

Chen Lip Keong and G. Gnanalingam / Image Credit: Forbes / Westports Malaysia

Missing from the list this year are three Malaysians. Namely, they are Chen Lip Keong, G. Gnanalingam, and Tan Yu Yeh.

Chen Lip Keong, the Malaysian businessman behind NagaWorld (a casino company in Cambodia), passed away on December 8, 2023 at age 76.

He had graduated as a medical doctor but opted for a career in business, Forbes reported. Picking up his legacy is his son, Chen Yiy Fon, who was appointed as the group CEO.

G. Gnanalingam was the executive chairman of Westports Malaysia Sdn Bhd, one of Malaysia’s leading port operators. He was born in Japanese-occupied Singapore and grew up in Port Dickson and Kuala Pilah. He passed away in July 2023 at 78 years old.

According to Forbes, his son Ruben Emir Gnanalingam is now Westports’ group managing director.

Tan Yu Yeh is the founder of Mr. D.I.Y, our homegrown home improvement retail chain. He had debuted on the list in 2021 with a net worth of US$1.8 billion, but it dipped to US$1.1 billion last year. He did not make it onto the list this year.

  • Learn more about Forbes’ World’s Billionaires List here.
  • Read other articles we’ve written about Forbes’ lists here.

Featured Image Credit: Bayan Resources / Sunway Group / Hong Kong Financial Services Development Council

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Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)