KUALA LUMPUR, April 7 — Malaysia’s “Sugar King” Robert Kuok remains the wealthiest man in Malaysia and even saw his estimated wealth increase to US$12.6 billion (RM51.9 billion) this year amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Forbes’ annual World’s Billionaires List.
The 97-year-old Hong Kong-based businessman however saw a rankings slip and is now the world's 171st richest man compared to his position of 141 in 2020, and estimated net worth at the time which was valued at US$9.6 billion (RM41.6 billion).
According to the Forbes list, there are 16 billionaires in Malaysia, with Kuok listed under Hong Kong.
Next on the list is Hong Leong Group's Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan, 79, which was valued at US$9.7 billion (RM40 billion) compared to US$9.2 billion (RM39.9 billion) last year.
However, despite the increase in wealth, Quek also dropped from position 147 in 2020 to being the 243rd richest man in the world in 2021.
The next top five richest Malaysians in descending order according to the list are: Tan Sri T. Ananda Krishnan at #476 (Astro, US$5.8 billion), Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow at #486 (Public Bank Bhd, US$5.7 billion), Datuk Lee Yeow Chor and brother Lee Yeow Seng at #550 (IOI Group, US$5.1 billion), Tan Sri Koon Poh Keong, #727 (Press Metal, US$4 billion), and Kuan Kam Hom and family at #752 (Hartalega Holdings, US$3.9 billion).
Next are Tan Sri Lim Wee Chai at #859 (Top Glove, US$3.5 billion), Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay at #1,174 (Genting, US$2.7 billion), Datuk Seri Lau Cho Kun at #1,444 (Hap Seng, US$2.2 billion), Tan Yu Yeh at #1,750 (Mr D.I.Y, US$1.8 billion) and Tan Sri G. Gnanalingam at #1,833 (Westport, US$1.7 billion).
Rounding up the next order of billionaires are: Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah at #2,263 (Sunway Group, US$1.3 billion), Tan Sri Syed Mokthar Albukhary at #2,378 (MMC Corp, DRB HICOM, US$1.2 billion), Tan Eng Kee at #2,524 (Greatech, US$1.1 billion), Tan Yu Wei at #2,524 (Mr D.I.Y, US$1.1 billion) and Tan Sri Surin Upatkoon at #2,674 (US$1 billion).
The number of billionaires on Forbes’ 35th annual list of the world's wealthiest exploded to an unprecedented 2,755 — 660 more than a year ago.
The total combined net worth of all these billionaires is estimated at US$13.1 trillion, up from US$8 trillion in last year.
The United States still has the most billionaires with 724 individuals, but is followed closely by China with 698 billionaires.