On 16 February 2008, Malaysian Business published a list of the richest business people in Malaysia. The list produced no surprises, though only if viewed within the context of Malaysia’s recent corporate history. However, a careful analysis of this list draws attention to two important public policy issues: the promotion of domestic enterprise and the continued implementation of affirmative action, both of which have a profound bearing on social relations. As campaigns for the 12th General Election commence, it is crucial that these policies be re-assessed and receive public and rational debate.
Robert Kuok remains Malaysia’s richest businessman, while the other by-now familiar names in the list include T. Ananda Krishnan (Maxis and Astro), Quek Leng Chan (Hong Leong group), Syed Mokhtar Albukhary (Albukhary Foundation), Teh Hong Piow (Public Bank), Lim Kok Thay (Genting), Tiong Hiew King (Rimbunan Hijau group), Vincent Tan (Berjaya Group), Azman Hashim (Amcorp Group) and Yeoh Tiong Lay (YTL Corp).