Malaysia’s most wealthy people in the spotlight

IN a year in which tycoons and their businesses faced headwinds both locally and globally, fortunes were made and lost by the nation’s wealthiest.

From currency shocks, commodity price fluctuations and a property glut right down to an overall decline in business sentiment, some were able to capitalise on these events, while others saw their fortunes taking a hit.

The biggest increase in wealth was made by 56-year-old Datuk Koon Poh Keong of Press Metal Bhd. Shares of the aluminium producer surged more than 100% last year, propelling him 18 rungs to No. 14 on our list of Malaysia’s 40 richest. His worth, solely based on his family’s controlling stake in Press Metal, is estimated at RM3.71bil.

Press Metal’s share price spike was even more notable considering that the market’s main barometer, the FBM KLCI, closed 3% down to 1,641.73 points on Dec 31, 2016 on a year-on-year basis.

There are two new entrants to the list – Raja Munir Shah Raja Mustapha and Wong Thean Soon – who are major shareholders in My EG Services Bhd and Excel Force MSC Bhd. They come in at No. 24, with a combined net worth of an estimated RM2.185bil.

The other new entrant is Gooi Seong Lim and his brothers, who have interests in Crescendo Corp Bhd and Kim Loong Resources Bhd. The two newcomers edge out JCY International Bhd’s controlling shareholder Yong Yoon Kiong and Tan Sri Surin Upatkoon, whose flagship is Multi-Purpose Holdings Bhd.

Malaysia’s richest person remains Robert Kuok with a net worth of RM36.7bil, while Genting Group’s Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay is second on the list with RM22.2bil.


The net worth of the tycoons was computed based on their stakes in listed companies. Stakes in private companies were not computed.

The benchmark used was the closing share prices as at Dec 31, 2016.

The total wealth did not take into account the person’s borrowings or funding cost of their investments in the listed companies as such information is not disclosed.

It is assumed that the shareholding of the person could have included or is combined with family members such as spouses, children or close relatives and partners.

The wealth is computed based on the person’s effective equity interest in the primary or holding listed companies. Listed subsidiaries or associates are not computed to avoid the double-counting of the person’s wealth.


In 2016, the combined wealth of the 40 richest Malaysians stood at RM235.68bil, about 6% higher than RM222.87bil in 2015.

In 2014, their combined wealth stood at RM222.8bil, while a year before that the figure was at RM216.33bil.

It does seem that things are looking up for corporate Malaysia after a year of flattish wealth growth.

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