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Malaysia's Top 50 Richest People Saw A Wealth Increase Of 14% Amidst Pandemic

Press Metal Aluminium Holdings owners — Koon Poh Keong and his siblings — underwent the biggest surge in wealth thanks to the recovery of metal's prices.

Cover image via China Press , The Edge Markets , Asia Tatler

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Most Malaysian billionaires and millionaires in dollar terms have reportedly seen their fortunes recovered after a two-year decline

The revelation is made by Forbes Asia, which published the Malaysia's Richest 2021 List yesterday, 2 June.

According to the international financial magazine, Malaysian tycoons on the list saw a rebound in their collective wealth with a 14% increase to nearly USD90 billion (about RM370.98 billion) this year following a two-year downward trend.

The magazine said the reversal of fortune is partly contributed by the country's dominant position as the medical glove maker to the world.

"In a pandemic year, as global demand for such protective gear increased significantly, Malaysian exports of rubber gloves doubled, boosting the wealth of the nation's largest producers," it reported.

"Five of them feature among the 50 richest, with two, Kuan Kam Hon (No 7, USD3.8 billion or about RM15.6 billion) of Hartalega Holdings and Lim Wee Chai (No 8, USD3.5 billion or about RM14.4 billion) of Top Glove, ranked in the top ten."

Kossan Rubber's Lim Kuang Sia returned to the list with a net worth of USD1.4 billion (about RM5.8 billion). While the fortune of Supermax Corp's Stanley Thai surged to USD1.1 billion (about RM4.8 billion).

Around June last year, the two rose to billionaire status in dollar terms due to the high demand for gloves at the beginning of the pandemic.

Hartalega Holdings' Kuan Kam Hon (top) and Top Glove's Lim Wee Chai.

Image via The Edge Markets

PPB Group and Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts founder Robert Kuok remained in the number one spot with a net worth of USD12.2 billion (about RM50 billion)

Kuok is the oldest member on the list. His net worth increased by roughly USD700 million (about RM2.8 billion) in comparison to last year's list.

Hong Leong Group co-founder Quek Leng Chan took the second spot with a net worth of USD9.6 billion (about RM39.5 billion). His net worth dipped USD100 million (about RM412 million) in comparison to last year's figures.

Forbes Asia reported that Press Metal Aluminium Holdings' owners — Koon Poh Keong and his siblings — underwent the highest surge in wealth on the list following the recovery of metal's prices.

They were ranked number eight last year. This year, they took the third sport, which was previously held by Maxis founder Ananda Krishnan. Their net worth is USD6.4 billion (about RM26.4 billion), while Ananda's net worth is USD5.8 billion (about RM23.9 billion).

Press Metal Aluminium Holdings' Koon Poh Keong (top) and Maxis' Ananda Krishnan.

Image via Legacy Times

There are five newcomers to the top 50 list. Among them are Mr DIY Group's brothers Tan Yu Yeh and Tan Yu Wei, whose company was listed on the Malaysian exchange in October last year.

According to the international financial magazine, the Tan brothers ranked in the 10th spot on the list, with a combined net worth of USD2.7 billion (about RM11.1 billion).

Other newcomers on the lists are all based in Penang, who gained their fortunes amidst US-China trade tensions. They are:

- Greatech Technology co-founder Tan Eng Kee: USD965 million (about RM3.9 billion)
- UWC co-founder Ng Chai Eng: USD450 million (about RM1.8 billion)
- UWC co-founder Lau Chee Kheong: USD445 million (about RM1.8 billion)
- ViTrox co-founder Steven Siaw Kok Teng: USD325 million (about RM1.3 billion)

Mr DIY Group's Tan Yu Yeh (right).

Image via The Vocket

Of the 50 on the list, 19 tycoons saw their fortunes fall, while seven businesspersons were delisted

"Among the hardest hit were casino moguls Chen Lip Keong (No 9, USD3.4 billion or about RM14 million) and Lim Kok Thay (No 11, $2.55 billion or about RM10.5 billion)," reported Forbes Asia.

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

Below are the top 10 richest in Malaysia:

1. Robert Kuok: USD12.2 billion (about RM50.2 billion)
2. Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan: USD9.6 billion (about RM39.5 billion)
3. Tan Sri Paul Koon Poh Keong and siblings: USD6.4 billion (about RM26.4 billion)
4. Ananda Krishnan: USD5.8 billion (about RM23.9 billion)
5. Tan Sri Dr Teh Hong Piow: USD5.5 billion (about RM22.7 billion)
6. Datuk Lee Yeow Chor and Yeow Seng: USD4.9 billion (about RM20.2 billion)
7. Kuan Kam Hon: USD3.8 billion (about RM15.7 billion)
8. Tan Sri Dr Lim Wee Chai: USD3.5 billion (about RM14.4 billion)
9. Tan Sri Dr Chen Lip Keong: USD3.4 billion (about RM14 billion)
10. Tan Yu Yeh & Yu Wei: USD2.7 billion (about RM11.1 billion)

To view the full list, visit Forbes here.

These are the rubber glove tycoons who rose to billionaire status in dollar terms last year:

Before dropping from his top 10 spot, Genting Group's Lim Kok Thay was number seven on the list last year: