Since its independence from the British colonial empire, Malaysia has had one of the best economic records in Asia, with GDP growing an average 6.5% for almost 50 years. Though traditionally the Malaysian economy has been based on its rich natural resources, in recent times it has been expanding in the sectors of science, tourism, commerce and medical tourism. So if you are keen to meet generous dates in this part of the world, Malaysia may be a good place to start.
Seek out the Wealthy Farmers
Agriculture has traditionally been the main economic activity in Malaysia and it still provides about 8% of GDP1. Though Subsistence agriculture remains the basis of livelihood for about 13% of Malaysians, the source of real wealth lies in production of rubber and palm oil. At one time Malaysia used to be the world’s largest producer of rubber and palm oil and is still a significant producer as well as exporter. Many of the richest men in the country owe their fortunes to these agricultural products. For instance With a net worth of $12.8 billion, Robert Kuok is the richest Malaysian on the planet and also ranks 64th on Forbes 2012 List of world billionaires2. The chief source of his wealth is stake in Wilmar, the world's largest listed palm oil company; with a net worth of $5.2 billion, Lee Shin Cheng is another Malaysian billionaire who heads IOI Corporation Berhad, better known as IOI Group, as its executive chairman. Listed in Bursa Malaysia, IOI is one of the world's leading conglomerate managing oil palm plantations, specialty fats, oleo chemicals and metallic stearates in Malaysia, Indonesia, United States, and Europe. And though you may not be able to run into the top billionaires of the country, try and get to know the owners of rubber and palm oil estates as well as high-paid professionals associated with the sector.
TIP: Millionaire Match has many single millionaire men from Malaysia looking for women to date and marry.
Get to know the Timber Barons
Malaysia is well-endowed with natural resources in areas such as forests and minerals. Logging began to make a substantial contribution to the economy during the nineteenth century. But the rapid expansion of the timber industry, particularly after the 1960s, brought about a serious depletion the country's forest resources which eventually resulted in the imposition of Government controls. Forestry resources are now being managed on a sustainable basis and accordingly the rate of tree felling has been on the decline. Even then forestry and forest products have been responsible for the fortunes of many billionaires - With a net worth of $1.5 billion, Tiong Hew King is easily one of the richest men in Malaysia. King is the founder and chairman of the Rimbunan Hijau Group, a timber company set up in 1975 whose timber operations in Papua New Guinea are the largest in that country. He also has interests in logging operations in Russia. While it may not be easy to get meet such timber barons, try and get to know other budding entrepreneurs or highly paid professionals like engineers and researchers associated with the industry.
Mine the Eligible Singles
Tin and petroleum are the two main mineral resources that Malaysia has been associated with. In the 19th and 20th century tin played a predominant role in the Malaysian economy. The country used to be the world's largest producer of tin until the collapse of the tin market in the early 1980s. It was only in 1972 that petroleum and natural gas took over from tin as the mainstay of the mineral extraction sector. Meanwhile, the contribution by tin has declined. Petroleum and natural gas discoveries in oil fields off Sabah, Sarawak and Terengganu have contributed much to the Malaysian economy. Oil and gas resources are managed by Petronas, the state controlled oil company which forms production sharing contracts with other players like Exxon-Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell to explore oil fields in Malaysia. Total natural gas reserves amounted to more than 87 trillion cubic feet, as of 1 January 20093. such rich resources have led to be emergence of mining barons such as Syed Mokhtar Shah bin Syed Nor Al-Bukhary who is among the richest Bumiputra corporate figure in Malaysia with a net worth of $3.3 billion in 2012. Though now he has interests in diversified business areas, he originally made his wealth with Malaysia Mining Corp. likewise the mining sector is sure to include other entrepreneurs and professionals like engineers and executives who are likely to take home fat pay checks and if lucky, they may be single too.
Meet the Top Honchos of the Manufacturing Sector
Malaysia industrial sector accounts for 48.1 percent of total GDP or 63.4 billion US dollars. The share of manufacturing in Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) rose from 8.6% in 1960 to 32.2% in 2005, while the share of manufactured goods in total trade has risen from around 25% in the early 1980s to around 80% today4. Malaysia is ranked third in the world league table of hi-tech exporters, as reported by the World Bank – 40% of its manufactured exports are hi-tech products. According to data issued by the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA), the manufacturing sector accounted for just over half of all foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows last year, almost double the 27% drawn in by the services sector. With FDI in 2011 increasing by 12.3% to around $11bn, manufacturing’s share of that total came to around $5.5bn5. All this is indication of the lucrative nature of the industrial sector where manufacturers as well as corporates, engineers and other professionals associated with the sector are bound to rake in good money and can prove generous partners.
Explore Tourism Hot-spots
In an effort to diversify the economy and make Malaysia’s economy less dependent on exported goods, the government has pushed to increase tourism in Malaysia. As a result tourism has become Malaysia’s third largest source of income from foreign exchange6. Miri is the official tourism-city and resort city of Sarawak and Sibu in Sarawak is famous for its landscape and parks. Malaysia has several tropical islands like Langkawi, Pangor and Kapas, some of which have been voted the most beautiful in the world as well as National Parks and Nature Reserves, especially in the province of Sarawak. The island is surrounded by pristine blue waters and lovely beaches; for instance the sands of Pasir Bogak beach are reputed to be able to rival the best among the world. In Pangkor the Teluk Nipah and the Coral Bay are especially popular with tourists from European countries. When exploring these attractive destinations, make it a point to stay and dine at upscale hotels and resorts which will not only throw you in the way of wealthy vacationers but also the best paid professionals in the country’s tourism sector.
Frequent the upscale hangouts
When the sun sets, Kuala Lumpur magically transforms itself from an ever-so-efficient business hub to a buzzing network of bars and nightclubs. Successful executives loosen their ties and kick up their heels to tempting beats while successful professionals chill out with exotic cocktails in pricey clubs. Sultan Lounge bar in Kuala Lumpur is a well known destination of the upscale variety while Club de Vegas is an equally sophisticated and adult karaoke lounge. Pavilion KL is perhaps the swankiest hangout in the capital city and in this fashionable mall, you will be able to find Prada, Versace, Coach and several high-end bars and eateries. The luxury mall Starhill Gallery is another place where rich gather for shopping and recreation. Alternately take in views of the Petronas Twin Towers at the Skybar, a futuristic-looking lounge on the 33rd floor of Traders Hotel which is known for its exclusive clientele. And though the lounge club No Black Tie was conceived as an antidote to the stuffiness of classical-music halls, it has since grown into one of the city's coolest and most eclectic night spots. The street Changkat Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur is lined with velvet-roped dance clubs and trendy bars like Werner's which draws both rich expats as well as trendy locals.
Other cities in Malaysia too have their share of exciting nightlife. Informally, Kajang is known as the "Satay Town", but it too has several upscale recreational destinations. One of the best known is Oriental Crystal Hotel which is equipped with a Grand Crystal Ballroom and 10 meeting rooms, as well as a Business Centre for business travelers. For fine dining options, there are the Oriental Imperial Chinese Restaurant, Subarashi Japanese Restaurant and the Citarasa Restaurant coffee house. For a more relaxed place, there are the Solitaire Pub, Lobby Lounge and the Blue Diamond Club, all of which draw well-heeled guests of the city.
- Infoplease – Malaysia Economy
- Forbes - The World's Billionaires
- Gas Malaysia Berhad - Malaysia Natural Gas Reserves and Production
- The Manufacturing Sector and the Future of Malaysia’s Economic Development [.PDF]
- Oxford Business Group - Malaysia: Manufacturing growth
- Munan, Heidi. Malaysia. New York: Benchmark Books, 2002. Pp. 28.