Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary

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Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary
Born 1952
Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia
Occupation Founder, Albukhary Foundation
Known for transportation and logistics, plantations, property development, defense and armory as well as engineering and power generation
Net worth Increase US$2.90 billion (2014)[1]
Religion Islam
Spouse(s) Puan Sri Sharifah Zarah Al-Bukhary
Children Ilyas Muzaffar, Ilya Myasara, Iliya Melissa, Iffah Maryam

Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Shah bin Syed Nor Al-Bukhary[2] (Arabic: سيد مختار شاه بن سيد نور البخاريSayyid Muḵtār Šāh bin Sayyid Nūr al-Buḵārī; 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$2.90 billion according to Forbes,[1] 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]


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.


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


A major gripe by Malaysians is that Syed Mokhtar is reputed to be just a proxy of UMNO (United Malays National 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 from 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]

Tanjung Bin Power Plant Controversy[edit]

The Tanjung Bin Power Sdn Bhd, which is 90% controlled by Malakoff Corp Bhd located in Tanjung Bin,Pontian (T-Bin3) experiencing repeatedly shut down due to leaks in the boiler tubes for 2 months and is believed yet to be solved.[28]

As of that effect, the power production are up and running but performing below par. The common outage incidents had brought the Plant’s Unscheduled Outage Rate (UOR) to 5.95 per cent as at end-December 2010, i.e. close to the PPA’s 6 per cent Unscheduled Outage Limit (UOL). There is therefore little room for further unscheduled outages in the near term. RAM Ratings will monitor the Plant’s performance and provide an update if there is any breach of the PPA’s operating parameters that results in significant revenue loss.[29]

The 2,100MW power plant is said to be the first coal fired power plant in the country and the largest independent coal-fired power plant in South-East Asia. This will caused serious air pollutions to the locales who are living near to the power plant.[30]

The opposition also accused government awarding Tanjung Bin Power Plant, an independent power producer (IPP) deal without first agreeing to tariff rates and the length of the concession. This cause the power tariff to continue to increase or in the best case, stagnant should the oil's world price should come down.[31]

A setback in the expansion of Tanjung Bin 4 (T-Bin4) — a 1,000MW coal-fired r4.5 billions extension of the aforementioned plant that is due to be completed in March 2016. The delay is due to graft probes of one of the power plant expansion contractor French engineering group Alstom. The firm is believed to be bribing civil servants in several countries including Malaysia.[32]


  1. ^ a b "Forbes: Syed Mokhtar Albukhary". Forbes. Retrieved 2 November 2014. 
  2. ^ Comments
  3. ^ "Forbes: Malaysia Billionaires". Forbes. Retrieved 2 November 2014. 
  4. ^ Au Yong, Jeremy; Insight–Boosting links, 'software' to rekindle Arab ties, 1 June 2007, The Straits Times
  5. ^ Mohamad Ashadi bin Mohd Zaini (2007), p. 1
  6. ^ Mohamad Ashadi bin Mohd Zaini (2007), p. 2
  7. ^ [1] Syed Mokhtars Life Story by NST
  8. ^ Malaysiakini Letter to the Editor
  9. ^ "MSM eyes more JV, \deals". 
  10. ^ "Anwar says sugar subsidy removal means a sweet RM1 billion profit for sugar giants". 
  11. ^ "A sweet acquisition". 
  12. ^ "In GE13 run-up, PKR targets Syed Mokhtar’s pervasive economic influence". 
  13. ^ "FELDA is Malaysia new sugarking". 
  14. ^ "The Silent Takeover". 
  15. ^ "Seven reasons why Malaysians are struggling to put food on the table". 
  16. ^ "Anwar: Companies to gain RM1b following sugar subsidy cut". 
  17. ^ "Sugar hike due to sweet new deal, not subsidy cut". 
  18. ^ "Anwar: Najib left out RM505 million cooking oil subsidy cut". 
  19. ^ "Najib's sweet secret: Subsidy removal benefits sugar barons like Syed Mokhtar". 
  20. ^ "Puncak Semangat unit to spend RM1b over 5 years to deploy LTE". 
  21. ^ "Questions raised over Syed Mokhtar’s 4G licence". 
  22. ^ "Market surprised that new entrant gains largest allocation, with 40MHz of bandwidth in the 2.6GHz band". 
  23. ^ "Malaysia's LTE spectrum distribution draws criticism". 
  24. ^ "Bernas going private its greed gone wild". 
  25. ^ "Bernas delisting benefits farmers and fisherman". 
  26. ^ "Bernas takeover, good deal for all". 
  27. ^ "Syed Mokhtar's , the UMNO tyrant baron". 
  28. ^ "Jimah, Tg Bin outages may hit TNB earnings". 
  29. ^ "RAM reaffirms Tanjung Bin Power’s debt rating". 
  30. ^ Template:Cite web=
  31. ^ "Pakatan cries foul over sweetheart IPP deal for Syed Mokhtar". 
  32. ^ "OSK: Alstom graft probe would delay Tanjung Bin extension". 


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