More billionaires are calling Singapore home.
According to the 2019 Forbes list of the richest people in the world, 22 Singaporean billionaires made it onto the list.
Singapore's richest got richer
These included famous names like:
- Peter Lim, former boss of Manchester United's Gary Neville and owner of Valencia CF.
- Property titans Robert and Phillip Ng of Far East Organization.
- Father-son duo Raj Kumar and Kishin RK, who control Royal Holdings/ RB Capital and own Hotel Intercontinental at Robertson Quay.
- "Popiah king" Sam Goi.
A notable absence was Razer Inc. CEO Tan Min-Liang, who made the list in 2018, but was not named in the 2019 list.
He was ranked 22nd on the Singapore list in 2018 and ranked 1,999th overall.
Combined wealth of Singapore's richest
The combined wealth of Singapore's 22 billionaires total a staggering US$71.3 billion (S$97 billion).
This was a step up from 2018, where the combined wealth of Singapore's billionaires stood at US$64.5 billion (S$87.6 billion).
Singapore bucked the global trend of the super-rich, which saw 55 fewer billionaires and a decline of US$400 billion (S$543 billion) for a combined total of US$8.7 trillion (S$11.8 trillion) in 2019.
Still a heck of a lot of money left over though.
Meanwhile over to the north, Malaysia's richest man Robert Kuok has slipped in the rankings.
His 2019 net worth is US$12.8 billion (S$17.4 billion), richer than even the Ng brothers at US$12 billion (S$16.3 billion).
But this was a drop from his 2018 estimate of US$14.5 billion (S$19.7 billion), according to the Malay Mail.
This was enough to nudge him out of the top 100 list, down to 104th place after coming in at 96th in 2018.
Malaysia recorded 13 billionaires with a total worth of US$61.6 billion (S$83.6 billion) for 2019.
This was slightly less than the US$61.8 billion (S$84 billion) recorded in 2018.
Wealth taxes to reduce inequality
While the rich get richer, the conversation on wealth taxes and taxes on alternative streams of income, such as capital gains and dividends, has been gaining traction in Singapore.
On Feb. 27, PAP MP for Fengshan SMC Cheryl Chan asked in Parliament if the government would consider wealth and inheritance taxes for the super-rich, so as to reduce inequality and avoid introducing more taxes on income.
Chan said: "Those with the wealth are not only on a better footing to accumulate more, they have even better access to resources that helps preserve their wealth."
She added: "In the spirit of giving and sharing, will the ultra-high net worth individuals be willing to share more of their wealth to uplift the vulnerable and less-privileged communities?"
Top image from Singapore Business Federation's YouTube Channel.