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7 Rags to Riches Malaysians Who Kept Walking, Despite All Odds

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7 Rags To Riches Malaysians Who Kept Walking, Despite All Odds - World Of Buzz
Source: Forbes & CompresSports

We look at the rich and the famous and we often think to ourselves, life is easy for them. They probably come from well to do families or it’s probably because of their rugged good looks that they’ve come so far in life. However, what many Malaysians may not know is that many of the millionaires and billionaires in Malaysia don’t come from rich or renowned families. In fact, some of them were born to poor and broken families while others had no education.

Here’s a list of some of the most inspiring businessmen in Malaysia who, against all odds, made sure to ‘Keep Walking’ until they went from rags to richest in the country! #goals #inspirational #wow

1. Yeoh Tiong Lay

More commonly known as YTL, it is believed he is currently worth more than RM8bil. Born in Klang in 1929, Yeoh graduated Hin Hua High School but there is no record that states he received any form of education after that. That means he probably didn’t graduate from university with any form of cert or degree!

Yet, in 1955 he founded YTL Corporation and today, it currently owns businesses in sectors like cement manufacturing, hotels, utilities and property development.

 

2. Dato’ Paul Koon Poh Keong

7 Malaysians Who Went From Rags To Richest Businessmen In The Country - World Of Buzz 1

Source: the star

Koon returned to Malaysia after graduating as an engineer from the US in the 1980s. However, it was during this time that Malaysia was suffering from a recession and he found himself jobless. In view of this, Koon rallied his brothers together and began their own aluminium-extruding company called Press Metal Bhd.

Press Metal started off in a rented factory in Puchong and took 30 years before it became largest of its kind in the region. He is currently worth RM6.7bil.

 

3. Robert Kuok

7 Malaysians Who Went From Rags To Richest Businessmen In The Country - World Of Buzz 2

Source: forbes

Born in Johor Bahru in 1923, Robert Kuok is estimated to be worth RM37bil. Robert graduated from Raffles College and became an ordinary office boy like many of us. After working just three years in the Japanese industrial conglomerate however, Kuok picked up the tricks of the trade and he ventured out to start his own business.

He started off trading sugar, rice and wheat flour and was known as the Sugar King of Asia for monopolizing 5% of the world’s sugar market. Today, Kuok Group controls Kerry Properties, the high-end hotel chain Shangri-La, and commodities trader Wilmar.

 

4. Lim Goh Tong

7 Malaysians Who Went From Rags To Richest Businessmen In The Country - World Of Buzz 3

Source: emaze

Although not born in Malaysia, Lim Goh Tong left China and came here in his teens and made a name for himself in his new found home before passing away at the age of 90. Not only was Lim stepping into brand new territory, but when he first arrived on Malaysian soil as a teen, Lim had absolutely no money. Nothing.

He made his fortune trading heavy machinery after World War II, and today he is known nationwide as the founder and developer of Genting Highlands.

7 Malaysians Who Went From Rags To Richest Businessmen In The Country - World Of Buzz 4

Source: genting

The Genting Group is currently estimated to have a net worth of RM22bil.

 

5. Jimmy Choo

Born in Penang to a family of shoe cobblers, Dato’ Jimmy Choo was definitely not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He learned to make his very first shoe at the age of 11 by his father. From humble beginnings, Choo moved to London in the 1980s to learn about shoe design and has never looked back since.

7 Malaysians Who Went From Rags To Richest Businessmen In The Country - World Of Buzz 6

Source: jimmy choo

He then opened his very own shoe store in an abandoned hospital building (yes, abandoned hospital) and not long after, his footwear began to catch the eye of high-profile names such as the late Princess Diana. There are currently more than 150 Jimmy Choo stores open worldwide.

 

6. Teh Hong Piow

7 Malaysians Who Went From Rags To Richest Businessmen In The Country - World Of Buzz 7

Source: the star

Founder and chairman of Public Bank Bhd., Hong is currently estimated to be worth over RM21bil. What is now Malaysia’s third-largest banking group by assets with a reach that extends to Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Laos, Vietnam and Sri Lanka, Hong started his career as a mere clerk with Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp.

However, as of 2016,  he became Malaysia’s first banker to receive a Cambodian royal award for his contribution to the Cambodian economic development. Currently, Hong gets a bulk of his wealth from his 24% stake in Public Bank.

 

7. Lee Thung Hing

7 Malaysians Who Went From Rags To Richest Businessmen In The Country - World Of Buzz 9

Source: thung hing

Lee ventured into the construction business after gaining a basic education. He tried to make ends meet by manufacturing and installing rain gutters and door frames for people. It was a difficult start for Lee when he often received only one order per week.

After years of persevering however, in 1983, Lee finally set up Thung Hing Group and today the business has grown by leaps and bounds. Manufacturing steel building materials for the past three decades, the company is looking into expanding into non-steel products as well. Today the business is worth at least RM40mil and is being run by Thung Hing’s son, Lee Kok Siong.

Currently, Kok Siong, is working on building houses using just steel and concrete in order to contribute to the poorer community. In using these materials, he hopes to lessen construction time and costs as well as to make the houses more affordable.

His philosophy in life is to always do something and not be stagnant. Don’t just complain, Keep Walking!

7 Malaysians Who Went From Rags To Richest Businessmen In The Country - World Of Buzz 10

Source: the star

Find out more about Kok Siong’s journey and how he’s about to disrupt the housing industry here:

Much like Kok Siong and the other extremely successful businessmen listed above, none of them could have arrived to where they are today if not for their will power and perseverance to ‘Keep Walking’. If you want to make a better life for yourself or the people around you, get up and take action! It will take time and hard work, you might even fail the first few times, but if you don’t even try, you’ve already failed.

Together with Johnnie Walker, we want you to keep walking until you reach your goals, don’t just stand still!

Find out more about Johnnie Walker’s Keep Walking Malaysia campaign here!



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