Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Shah bin Syed Nor Al-Bukhary
Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Shah bin Syed Nor Al-Bukhary is the Bumiputra richest corporate figure in Malaysia. With involvement in diversified business areas which include transportation and logisctics , property development, defense and armory as well as engineering and power generation. He has a net worth estimated to be US$2.00 billion according to Forbes, making him the 7th richest Malaysian.
Syed Mokhtar al-Bukhary was born into a mid-low class family of Hadhrami Arab descent in north of Peninsular Malaysia; whose house was without necessities and luxuries. His highest education was only until form five, and he never went to university. A whole lot of his knowledge and experience was gained through his own entrepreneurship experience during his youth time.
Due in part his family's mediocre-to-poor background, Syed Mokhtar al Bukhary had to step into the working world in his early life, while pursuing his primary and secondary studies. Syed Mokhtar helped his mother planting and selling vegetables in the market and also selling roti canai. His numeric knowledge was used to help his father in doing daily book keeping.
After finishing school, Syed Mokhtar helped his father in breeding cow business but only to see the business washed away by foot and mouth disease. Nevertheless, he took over the business and start over by selling meats. He then move on to packaging the meats and start selling them wholesale. His determination paid off and the business started to take off.Syed Mokhtar and Zainal started his business in Johor in the 1990s dealing in rice. More success followed and he moved to rice trading business. He worked even harder after awarded the rice trading license from Lembaga Padi Negara, and was later awarded successions of supplier contract government-linked corporations as partner with Zainal Hatim Hj Ambia Bukhary.
As his determination starting to skyrocket, he quickly moved to expand into diversification of other businesses. His next big move was in the logistics business, with initial goal to transport their trading materials. As the saying goes, 'the harder you work, the luckier you get'. Today, his business empire has grown into areas such as plantation, property development, construction, engineering, power generation, infrastructure and ports.
He owns 51.8% share in Malaysian Mining Corporation via his wholly-owned company, Syarikat Impian Teladan Sdn. Bhd. Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar and Zainal Hatim personally owns SKS Ventures, which was awarded the task of building the site for 2100MW gas-fired power station at Tanjung Bin, Johor. Tan Sri Syed Mohktar has a 32% share in PERNAS through his own company, Syarikat Ratu Jernih. He also has interest in Fiamma Holdings Berhad, whereby 18.68% of the said company is being held by him through his two companies, i.e. Syarikat Perdana Padu Sdn. Bhd. and Corak Kukuh Sdn. Bhd. Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar and Zainal are Board Members of Syarikat Bina Puri Holdings Berhad, whereby, on his own, he has 7.34% share. Apart from these, Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar and Zainal has varied interest in a number of companies, both in Malaysia as well as abroad.
One project that enhanced his stature in the international arena is the Museum of Islamic Art, Kuala Lumpur, whereby the idea was conceptualized by Dato' Seri Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad himself. Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar and Zainal Hatim were responsible for luring the famous shopping mall in London, i.e. Harrods, to invest in Malaysia through his company, Amtek Holdings Sdn.Bhd. Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar played a major role in the family-owned Al-Bukhary Foundation, whereby he is the Executive Chairman. Through Al-Bukhary Foundation, he has made several contributions towards the social sector, particularly the Islamic social and welfare activities. The foundation is also responsible in constructing the Al-Bukhary Mosque Complex, which is the latest landmark in Kedah.In appreciation of his enormous services and contributions, he was bestowed with several awards, which among others, include the Panglima Setia Mahkota (P.S.M.) by His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong, which carries the title Tan Sri and the Dato' Setia Mahkota Kedah (D.S.D.K.) by HRH The Sultan Kedah, which carries the title Dato'.