Malaysia’s Richest Man Celebrates 100th Birthday

Malaysia’s Richest Man Celebrates 100th Birthday

Tan Sri Robert Kuok, Malaysia’s richest man is celebrating his 100th birthday today in style, being celebrated by a circle of elite and distinguished people celebrating his life’s achievements.

Kuok, whose full name is Robert Kuok Hock Nien was born in 1923 in Johor to Fujianese parents. His parents then migrated over to Malaysia from the Fujian province of China.

Kuok got his first start in business, taking over his parent’s shop selling rice, flour and sugar. Kuok grew the business together with his two older brothers William and Phillip. From there, the business which was then called Kuok Brothers found success, especially in sugar trading.

Using the success he attained, he established the Malayan Sugar Manufacturing Co. Bhd. and invested heavily in sugar. He hit his jackpot in 1961 when he purchased cheap sugar from India before the prices shot up.

At one point, Kuok controlled up to 80% of the domestic sugar market, earning himself the title “Sugar King of Asia”.

From there Kuok branched out into multiple industries, which included commodities trading, mining, shipping, logistics, publishing and property development.

Although Kuok has been a Hong Kong resident since the 1970’s, his affection for Malaysia has never faded away.

In a telephone interview with the Singapore Straits Times for his 90th birthday, he said that his home will always be Malaysia.

“Roots are roots, except that my other root is the root of my parents — and that is China.

“I am twin-rooted,” he said.

Kuok’s 100th birthday was marked with well wishes from many business elites, including Hong Kong’s wealthiest man, Li Ka-shing, 95, and his son Victor Li Tzar-kuoi, 59, who praised Kuok’s friendship.

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