IT’S THEIR BLESSING
Weak ringgit or not, our billionaires in Forbes’ list continue to prosper
DESPITE the weakening of the ringgit, 93-yearold sugar king Tan Sri Robert Kuok is again Malaysia’s richest man, whose net assets are worth US$11.4 billion (RM50.5 billion).
He leads 11 other Malaysians into latest annual ranking of the world’s billionaires, where he is currently placed 115th.
He has been on top of the heap for many years now and I just can’t imagine how wealthy that is. Of course, some people will say that many other Malaysians are much richer, just that they are not evaluated.
But let’s keep our focus on
which applies a simple but accurate methodology.
Among other things, according to it sends out its reporters throughout the year to meet with a list of candidates and their assistants, and interview employees, rivals, lawyers, exspouses and securities analysts.
They keep track of their moves: the deals they negotiate, the land they are selling or the paintings they are buying.
They also dig through share documents, court records, probate records, tax records, federal financial disclosures and news stories. In calculating wealth, they put a price on all assets, including stakes in public and privately-held companies, real estate, art, yachts and planes.
Malaysia’s richest saw their fortunes slump by half last year, according to as the country grappled with weak oil prices.
So, the number of billionaires shrunk by a quarter last year, to 12 from 16. calculates the rankings in United States dollars, which means fortunes held in ringgit are worth less when the Malaysian currency falls. But still, they are the super-duper rich as far as Malaysians are concerned.
Kuok spends most of his time in Hong Kong, but being Malaysian (he was born in Johor Baru), he must have yearned sometimes for things Malaysian.
Does he ever stop and order pasembor or cendol whenever he passes by Subang Jaya, I wonder. Or does he enter a fashion shop and ask “how much?” for a designer label.
12 Malaysians made it to ‘Forbes’ latest annual ranking.
Tan Sri Dr Chen
Kuan Kam Hon