4 Malaysians Join Forbes World's Billionaires 2021 List
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, 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. Among the richest in the world are Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest for the fourth year running, worth US$177 billion, and Elon Musk, who rocketed into the number two spot with US$151 billion.
While the list includes some Malaysian mainstays such as Tan Sri Ananda Krishnan, Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow, Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah, Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar AlBukhary, and Top Glove Corp Bhd’s Tan Sri Dr Lim Wee Chai, to name a few, four Malaysians made their debut on the annual world’s billionaires list this year.
They include Mr DIY Group (M) Bhd brothers Tan Yu Yeh and Tan Yu Wei, Westports Holdings Bhd’s Tan Sri G Gnanalingam, and Greatech Technology Bhd co-founder and CEO Tan Eng Kee.
Tan Sri G Gnanalingam
- Net worth: US$1.7 billion
- Age: 76
- Industry: Logistics
G. Gnanalingam chairs Westports Holdings, a multi-cargo port operator that he co-founded with Ahmayuddin bin Ahmad. The group owns a 60-year concession to operate and expand its container terminals in Pulau Indah and Port Klang, which will end in 2054.
Westports is one of three main port operators in the Straits of Malacca that handle gateway and transhipment container cargo. His son, Ruben Emir Gnanalingam, is Westports Holdings' managing director.
Tan Yu Yeh & Tan Yu Wei
- Net worth: US$1.8 billion and US$1.1 billion respectively
- Age: 50 and 48 respectively
- Industry: Fashion and retail
Ranked #2524 on the Forbes list is Tan Yu Wei, who gets his wealth from his stake in Mr. D.I.Y, a home improvement retail chain, which his older brother, Tan Yu Yeh founded in 2005. Tan Yu Yeh worked with Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd as a remisier and an engineer before setting up his home improvement venture while Tan Yu Wei was a director at De Little Chinatown, a wholesaler of Chinese products, until 2011 when he joined Mr. D.I.Y.
Mr. DIY Group (M) Sdn Bhd was listed on the Malaysian stock exchange in October 2020 making the Tan brothers both billionaires. Mr. D.I.Y stores are typically 10,000 square feet and carry products across 10 categories including electrical items, stationery and toys. The chain currently has 684 stores in Malaysia and four stores in Brunei.
Read more: The 10 Richest Women In The World In 2020
Tan Eng Kee
- Net worth: US$1.1 billion
- Age: 51
- Industry: Manufacturing
Also ranked #2524, Tan Eng Kee is the co-founder and CEO of Malaysia-listed Greatech Technology Bhd, a maker of factory automation equipment. He set up the company in 1997 with his school buddy, Khor Lean Heng, who's the company's COO.
Greatech's customers include electric vehicle makers, solar energy producers and semiconductor companies. The company, which listed in 2019, has eight factories and a testing facility in the US, one of its biggest markets.
See also: Forbes World’s Billionaires List 2021: The Top 10 Asians