PETALING JAYA, Feb 24 — Certain ultra-wealthy Malaysians such as billionaire Robert Kouk should recognise the fact that government had significantly contributed to their success, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today.
In a report by The Star, the prime minister said that drive, hard work and discipline are not enough to reach such wealth.
“If we look at the list of names of the richest people in Malaysia, such as Robert Kuok, who gave him the key to become the rice and sugar king? It was given to him by the ruling government.
“Yes, he is driven, hardworking, industrious and disciplined — but that is not enough,” Najib reportedly said at a Skim Latihan 1Malaysia event.
“Everyone still needs the key and they are hopeful that Government policies are key to creating these opportunities,” he added.
Robert Kuok, the richest Malaysian and second-richest South-east Asian, started building his business empire since the 1950s, before Merdeka and long before the launch of Malaysia’s New Economic Policy.
By the 1960s, Kuok was already a multi-millionaire and the “Sugar King” of Malaysia — and is today reported to be worth more than US$15.3 billion (RM59.95 billion).