MELBOURNE, May 27 (Bernama) -– Mining magnate Sam Chong has become
Australia''s first Malaysian-born billionaire as revealed by the latest Business
Review Weekly (BRW) Richest 200 list.
A self-made man, Chong, 69, who was born in Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands,
increased his wealth by A$50 million (RM153.623 million) from last year''s A$950
million (RM2.918 billion).
Another Malaysian is close to joining the Billionaires'' Club. He is
award-winning Queensland property developer Maha Sinnathamby, 72, who is listed
as having A$820 million (RM2.519 billion) and his kitty is increasing rapidly by
Chong, who is married with one child, came to Australia in 1973 to study
mining engineering at the University of New South Wales, Sydney in 1973.
BRW, Australia''s leading business magazine, said
Chong held a range of mining roles after graduating before taking a position
with Queensland Coal Mine Management, now known as Jellinbah Group, in the
AUSTRALIA-BILLIONAIRE 2 MELBOURNE
There he worked with millionaires Jim Gorman and the late Ken Talbot before
they left to pursue other ventures.
Chong maintains a 23 per cent stake in the company, which has 70 per cent
interests in two small-sized coal mines in the Bowen Basin in central
Queensland and is in the process of developing another one.
Chong, who lives in Brisbane, also has an extensive property portfolio in
and around Brisbane with his A$70 million (RM215 million) apartment and hotel
development in Brisbane''s Central Business District (CBD)due for completion late
Sinnathamby''s is a classic story of hard and dedicated work paying off. From
a humble home during the Japanese Occupation, he moved to Sydney after
leaving St Paul''s Institution, Seremban, to complete an engineering degree.
Sinnathmby''s Greater Springfield is the largest privately owned master
planned city in Australia.
AUSTRALIA-BILLIONAIRE 3 (LAST) MELBOURNE
A man of vision, Sinnathamby is the master developer of the entire 2,860
hectare Greater Springfield land parcel which has become home to more than
23,000 residents and 9,000 students since it was established in 1991.
Only 13 per cent of the acreage, which he and a friend Bob Sharpless bought
for just A$7.2 million (RM 22.12 million) in the early 1990s, has been
When completed, the investment in Greater Springfield,which is about 45km
from Brisbane, is calculated to be worth more than A$23 billion (RM70.66
billion). More than A$3.2 billion (RM9.83 billion) has been invested to date.
Greater Springfield has its own CBD, central parkland and lakes as well as
education, hospital, wellbeing and information technology precints.
Sinnathamby''s four adult children are all involved in his property
development and are a close-knit family.
Two other Malaysians have again made the BRW Rich list this year. David Teoh
and his wife Vicky, both 56, have increased their wealth from A$484
million(RM1.487 billion) last year to A$525 million (RM1.613 billion), money
made from technology ventures.
NDC HK HA