Khoo Teck Puat was well known for the Goodwood Park Hotel in Singapore, The Standard Chartered Bank as well as the Goodwood Group in London. Born in 1917 and an estimated wealth of $4.3billion when he passed away. Mr Khoo started his career with the OCBC bank as a bank clerk but quickly got promoted and even became the Chairman for one of the most important government department in Singapore. He was the Chairman of Central Provident Fund. As history has it, Mr Khoo left OCBC Bank because of not keeping up with trend of other banks – and not expanding fast enough. Khoo had 14 kids and of course, the most publicly known one is Eric Khoo the film maker. Khoo died in 2004 and his children sold most of his majority shares to Temasek Holdings.
Much loved by everyone in Asia – even though you might not be a Malay, you would still loved his movies. P. Ramlee was a legend, born in Penang, Malaysia – sadly he died when he was only in his 40s – very young by anyone standards of heart attack. Winning a singing contest, P. Ramlee continued to be in the movies, a director and of course – his singing went a long way. Everyone loved his movies and his singing, he was charming and women and men around Asia just fell in loved with him. He was very talented and was awarded many, many awards. They even named a street and a house – made into a museum after him.
Tan Passakornatee is one of the busiest man I’ve recently read about – also known as Mr Oishi – because of the many chain Japanese restaurant he has – from sushi buffet to teppanyaki tables and ramen stores. And Mr Oishi here can be heard asking his employees to speed up my pc all the time when he is at the office doing his work.
Born in Malaysia – Mr Tan was a unskilled laborer before turning into a small business entrepreneur but not everything went smoothly for him as he lost his real estate business but that didn’t deter this hardworking and strong willed man. He is the founder of the Oishi Group but had since sold it to another group but what makes one admire him so much is his strong believed about giving back to society. I wished that more rich people were like Tan Passakornnatee – and become a strong believer of giving back – I would loved to be like him if I am as rich as he is.
Robert Kuok at 89 is said to have a networth of $14.7 billion. Born in Johor Bahru, Malaysia – is the richest person in Malaysia – and is media shy – so I’ve read. His main business is in sugar and started his life as an office boy. Office boy turning into the richest man in the Malaysia – don’t you wonder how? I do ! is it really luck or good business acumen and hard work – I think it is all 3 combined. Robert Kuok owns the first Shangri-la Hotel in Singapore and now has Shangri-la all over Asia. One of his subsidiary has a stake in the Hong Kong South China Morning Post and the list goes on. Although retired, both the hotel industries and the property industry knows Robert Kuok’s name too well – and being the Raffles boy he is, I’ve heard of the many donations he had made to the school throughout the years. I want to be the next Robert Kuok too – I want to learn his secrets as well.
Olivia Lum came a long way from being an orphan to the only woman in South East Asia being listed on Forbes for being one of the richest woman in the world. Orphan at birth – Olivia was adopted but life didn’t come easy for her even then – for her adopted grandmother gambled away all the money and lost everything they had. At 15 she supported herself by giving tuition and managed to get into one of the best Junior colleges in Singapore. She then entered into the University of Singapore – which for your information was not easy to get into and graduated with honors.
At a young age of 28 and only $20K in capital – she started her own company (Hyflux) selling treated water – with only 3 person employed. Her company grew quickly and later listed in the Singapore exchange and hired on about 800 people. Olivia’s net worth is said to be at $460 million. Hyflux continues to grow till this day.
Syed Mokhtar is from Malaysia and 56 year of age. He controls malaysia mining Corp and hold huge stakes in Johor Port and other business. He started the Albukhary Foundation – a Muslim charity to help the needy – regardless of the religion or the color of the people. He was the only donor in 1996 and gave $30 million and another 25 million in 2010. His foundation funds remedial classes in English, Science and Math for more than 20,000 under achieving students from poor families each year. His hopes is to bridge educational divide between the rich and the poor. His foundation runs a college scholarship program for 300 students in more than 40 countries.
I don’t usually write about Asians that I am not familiar with – but Timothy Tiah was someone that I’ve been following on his blog for about 2 yrs now, just when he first started his online advertising company called Nuffnang. What interest me about this young man was he was about to go meet a very important client.. but stopped everything.. and went to help a friend who was injured in a car accident. Here I thought to myself.. what a guy! And that moment i knew that he was definitely gonna go far in his entrepreneurship. Whether he was into Toto sink or just about any product, this boyish looking fella, certainly had charisma.
Today, Nuffnang is 2 yrs old .. and had spread its wings not only to Australia but Philippines and Singapore too. Of course, he took Malaysia like a storm and every blogger i know .. is on Nuffnang. Very inspiring.. and very brave .. i’ll have to say. Only 25 yrs old, born in Malaysia – studied in UK to be an investment banker and even interned in one of the best banks, aiming to make lots of money – but instead with his partner Ming – started Nuffnang. Although, pretty famous, Timothy has managed to be very grounded and continued to write a blog – which i read as often as I can. Yes, he certainly has the guts and i’m sure .. everyone wished to have that kinda guts, be at the right time and right place, making the same kinda decision like Timothy Tiah. I’ll be watching you .. Bud!
Peter Tan is a 40 something Christian from Penang, Malaysia.. and is currently living in K.L. When i first started reading Peter’s blog.. it was a few years ago.. and yes. .he inspired me immediately. Why..?? Peter is movement challenged.. but he is so full of life.. and he is such an articulate writer with great insight .. and a strong passion to challenge a good cause for the rest of the movement challenged like himself in Malaysia. While I need ultra 90 you can see that Peter stayed as healthy.. as he can.. and fit.. and also keep tab of his total health.
Happily married to a wonderful lady called Wuan.. Peter has a spinal cord injury .. and also chronic renal failure.. and uses the wheelchair.. and drives a car. He is by no means a small voice because of his physical challenge or his bad health – you can see Peter is very active trying to make Malaysia a better place . .for folks like himself. I am humbled by him.. and wished i was as strong as Peter is – i draw strength from his experiences. and his many challenges. Thank you Peter..!
Former deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia.. Mr Ibrahim was made famous because he was accused of sodomizing his driver. To me .. and in my humble opinion.. the prison term he served.. the humiliation .. that was thrown at him..and his family .. were uncalled and till today.. i don’t think.. anyone can justify it. It was like George Bush having the power.. and invading Iraq on the pretext of mass destruction weapon.
Mr Ibrahim led a humble life .. he believed in spending wisely .. and treating everyone fairly.. you can’t even find anything unique like those Grohe faucet you find in celebs home. Many ppl think that he was ousted out because he wanted to bring the West and Islam closer together.. and had many ideas .. of changes.. and believes in a more modernized.. and more open society. Yes.. he does inspires not only myself.. but many.. for being so strong.. and even when he was thrown to jail. .he stood with his head held high up… not once did we see weakness in this great man.
The ex PM of Malaysia.. this man who was born in 1925 definitely still have some spunk in him. If you visit his blog .. yes…. he has a blog.. and a darn popular one at that.. you would have to salute him. At 84 yrs old.. he is into technology at its best and communicating into the 21st century style . I’ve never seen any ex PM or even present one .. have such an active interest in politics.. even though he retired so many years ago.
Although there are some things that I do not understand about Dr Mahathir reign in parliment .. this man is definitely a hero in many eyes. He still is.. and Malaysia.. no matter how badly ran before and now.. is still a good place to be in .. in many instances. During his administration, he was considered to be one of Asia’s most influential leaders. Mahathir is also known for his criticisms towards western and developed countries.
Coming from humble beginnings . .this man sold fried bananas .. to supplement his family income .. raised himself by going to college and earning a degree in a medical college and worked as a medical officer before joining politics. He writes a blog called Che Det and is still stirring up a lot of controversies for those in the neighbouring country.. and also his fellow political co – workers from before. Yes.. he is a great man.. but like i said .. there are things.. i cannot comprehend about him.