Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary

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Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary
Born 1952
Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia
Occupation Founder, Albukhary Foundation
Net worth Decrease US$2.75 billion (2013)
Religion Islam
Spouse(s) Puan Sri Sharifah Zarah Al-Bukhary
Children 5 children

Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Shah bin Syed Nor Al-Bukhary[1] (Arabic: سيد مختار شاه بن سيد نور البخاريSaiyid Mukhtār Shāh bin Saiyid Nūr al-Bukhārī; born 1952) is the richest Bumiputra corporate figure in Malaysia. With involvement in diversified business areas which include transportation and logistics, plantations, property development, defense and armory as well as engineering and power generation, he has a net worth estimated to be US$2.75 billion according to Forbes,[2] making him the 8th richest Malaysian.[3]

Early life[edit]

Syed Mokhtar al-Bukhary the third of seven children born into a middle-low class of Hadhrami Arab ancestry.[4] His father was a trader who had travelled to Central Asia and Thailand in his youth before settling down in Kedah during the 1940s.[5] When Syed Mokhtar was nine years old, he was sent to Johor Bahru to live with his uncle Syed Omar where he studied until Form 2.[6] He subsequently returned to Kedah to finish his education until form five at Saint Michael's School, 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 to his family's mediocre-to-poor background, Syed Mokhtar al Bukhary had to step into the working world early in his life, while pursuing his primary and secondary studies. He 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, he 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.[7]

Career[edit]

Syed Mokhtar and Zainal started his business in Kedah in the 1990s dealing in rice. More success followed and he moved to rice trading business. He worked even harder after he was 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. 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 seaport terminal (johore) sdn bhd,a subsidiary company Syarikat Indra Cita Sdn. Bhd. Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar and Zainal Hatim personally owns SKS Ventures, which was awarded the task of building the site for 2100MW coal-fired power station at Tanjung Bin, Johor. Tan Sri Syed Mohktar has a 32% share in PERNAS through his own company, Syarikat Ratu Jernih. 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.

Recognition[edit]

In appreciation of his 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'.

On 10 January 2008 or 1st Muharram 1429 Hijra he was announced and awarded as "Tokoh Ma'al Hijrah" by The Yang Di Pertuan Agong of Malaysia in recognition of his contribution to nation building.

Controversies[edit]

A major gripe by Malaysians is that Syed Mokhtar is reputed to be just a proxy of UMNO (United Malays Nationa Organisation), the ruling party in Malaysia since independence.

He has been identified as a major beneficiary of political connection that have given his subsidiary companies monopoly control over crucial Malaysian sectors which includes sugar mills, rice distribution (Bernas), power plants generations and trading ports.

Uncontrolled Development in Johor Port[edit]

A number of companies controlled by Syed Mokhtar have come under attack for development activities on greenfield sites. For example, the clearance of mangroves for the development of Johor Port has led to some criticisms from local environmental groups.[8]

Sugar Subsidies Removal COntroversies[edit]

In 2009, Central Sugar which is owned by Syed Mokhtar's Tradewind [9] acquired Robert Kuok PBB group. [10] Following the Central Sugar acquisition, the government had committed to a three-year raw sugar import deal at US$26 (RM78.54) per 100 lbs (45.3 kg) in January 2012 when the global market price for raw sugar then was at US$23.42 (RM73.57). But by January 2014, the global price had dipped to below US$16 forcing Govt to withdraw the subsidy (34 cents per kilogram) for the sugar.With removal of sugar subsidy in Budget 2013, the profit of Tradewind now escalates to RM 1 billion. [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19]

Acquisition of large LTE band chunk without previous track record[edit]

In December 2012, Syed Mokhtar's Puncak Semangat Sdn Bhd is one of the eight companies that are successfully bid the LTE 2600 MHz from Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission.[20] But questions were raised as the Puncak Semangat have zero track records prior to the bid but managed to secured the 40 MHz band. Meanwhile the other 8 competing companies secured only 20 MHz of the allocation band. [21] [22] [23]

Threat to National Food Securities[edit]

In March 2014, Syed Mokhtar secure 90% of the PadiBeras Nasional Bhd (Bernas) after buying the shares owned by Nafas and Nekmat through his proxy companies:Perspective Lane (M) Sdn Bhd, Kelana Ventures Sdn Bhd, Seaport Terminal Sdn Bhd, Acara Kreatif Sdn Bhd and Tradewinds Bhd.The critics are opposing this moves as this puts the nation's food security into one tycoon hands which will harm the nation food industry and thus the price of rice will continue to increase further.[24] [25] [26] [27]

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