Shiok, the Malay word for fantastic, is an apt word to describe the past 12 months for Malaysia's 40 Richest. It has been a remarkably good year for nearly everyone on our second annual list, thanks to the nation's thriving economy, which has been helped by recent government moves to reduce taxes. The stock market is up more than 20% to date, making it the third-best-performing market in Asia behind China and Vietnam. At least 75% of the public companies held by these tycoons are worth more than last year. (See table for ten big jumps.) The nation's 40 richest businesspeople are worth a collective $43 billion, up from $26 billion last year. Robert Kuok remains Malaysia's richest, worth $7.6 billion. Just $200 million behind him is No. 2 Ananda Krishnan, who made headlines in May when he announced plans to take his telecom company, Maxis, private in a $5 billion deal. Malaysia's ten richest still control the bulk of the list's wealth, worth $35 billion, up 63% from the previous year. But the individuals lower in the ranks are doing well, too. Last year a dozen people were worth less than $100 million; the minimum net worth was $65 million. This year no one is worth less than $127 million. Eight of the rich listers are newcomers, most put there by recent offerings or dramatic gains in public holdings. Mokhzani Mahathir, son of the former prime minister, joins the ranks after taking his energy company Kencana public in December. Seri Eleena Raja Azlan Shah becomes the list's second woman, thanks to her shareholding in thriving construction firm Gamuda, up 90% in the past year. The richest newcomer is Singapore resident Ong Beng Seng, the tireless dealmaker who just recently persuaded Formula One's Bernie Ecclestone to hold a Grand Prix-style race on the streets of Singapore, most probably at night, a world's first. Even most dropoffs from last year's rankings have little reason to pout. Former head of Multi-Purpose Holdings, Lim Thian Kiat, saw his net worth rise $31 million to $126 million. Not bad, but not enough to make the cut. For people with publicly traded fortunes, net worths were calculated using share prices and exchange rates from May 11. For privately held fortunes we estimated what companies and assets were worth if public. A special thanks to database company BRIS, which provided private company data.
1. Robert Kuok
84. Married, 8 children
Onetime rice and sugar trader heads multinational Kuok Group with interests ranging from shipping to real estate to media. Merging extensive Malaysian, Indonesian palm oil interests with Singapore's Wilmar International, already run by his nephew. Also has stake in Transmile Group, air cargo outfit that recently delayed filing its financial statements and announced special audit.
2. Ananda Krishnan
69. Divorced, 3 children
In May announced plans to pay $5 billion to take his telecom company, Maxis, private. Capped off already busy year: After delays his Measat launched its third satellite in December. His satellite TV provider Astro launched a joint venture with India's Sun TV Group in April. Also signed joint venture with A&E Television Network.
3. Lim Goh Tong
90. Married, 6 children
Former public works contractor built enormous gaming and resort empire. His First World Hotel has 6,200 rooms, earning it the Guinness World Record for world's largest hotel. Retired as chairman in 2003. Marked his 90th birthday this year with a 9-foot-tall granite statue at his Genting casino resort.
4. Lee Shin Cheng
68. Married, 6 children
Former plantation field supervisor now heads IOI Group, one of world's leading operators of palm oil plantations, refineries. His plants produce specialty oils, metallic stearates, fats used in soaps, detergents, cosmetics, food additives. Leading real estate developer also building townships, shopping malls, resorts in Malaysia.
5. Teh Hong Piow
77. Married, 4 children
Former bank clerk used profits from real estate deal to open bank in 1966. Today Public Bank has 13,400 employees, 240 branches, including 56 in Hong Kong, 1 in Shenzhen.
6. Quek Leng Chan
66. Married, 3 children
Heads Hong Leong Group Malaysia, conglomerate involved in banking, semiconductor manufacturing, ceramic tile manufacturing, motorcycle distribution. Expected to start introducing casinos in selected Thistle Hotels, the U.K. luxury chain it owns.
7. Syed Mokhtar AlBukhary
55. Married, 5 children
Former rice trader now controls Malaysia Mining Corporation (MMC); has stakes in Malaysia's Johor Port; country's largest independent power producer Malakoff; natural gas distributor Gas Malaysia. Donates to Islamic schools, mosques, arts.
8. Yeoh Tiong Lay
77. Widowed, 7 children
Founded YTL Corp., one of Malaysia's largest conglomerates, with interests in construction, utilities, hotels, property development and technology. Recently proposed building $2.3 billion bullet train that would cover 200-mile journey between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore in 90 minutes. Son Francis runs YTL's daily operations.
9. Tiong Hiew King
71. Married, 3 children
His timber flagship, Rimbunan Hijau, celebrated 30th anniversary in 2006 by inaugurating 2 palm oil mills and 2 resorts in his native Sarawak and listing his Sarawak palm oil interests in Malaysia. Merging his three Chinese- language publishing firms in Malaysia (Nanyang Press Holdings and Sin Chew Media Corp.) and Hong Kong (Ming Pao Enterprises).
10. William Cheng
Runs the Lion group, which has interests in plantations, steel, property. Though nicknamed "Steel King," biggest source of wealth his stake in Chinese retailer Parkson Retail, which he chairs. Married to former Chinese pop singer. Also known as Cheng Heng Jem.
11. Azman Hashim
67. Married, 5 children
Bought first bank 25 years ago. Last November agreed to sell 14% stake in banking group AMMB to Australia's ANZ for $350 million. Still has 19% stake as well as holdings in other financial service companies. Chairs Malaysian Investment Banking Association, Malaysia-Japan Economic Association. Has 10 grandchildren.
12. Ong Beng Seng
62. Married, 2 children
Malaysian citizen known as OBS lives in Singapore, where he has many investments in luxury hotels, real estate, steel. Has joint venture with Giorgio Armani to double number of A/X shops worldwide. Longtime partner of Hard Rock, his office situated above a Hard Rock Cafe. Just closed deal to bring Formula One racing to the island nation. Wife, Christina, whose family made fortune in oil trading, often invests alongside him.
13. Yaw Teck Seng
Started out in logging in 1963. Later picked up three small forest concessions, which eventually became Samling (which means "three trees" in Mandarin) now one of the world's largest forestry groups. Turned over management to his son Chee Ming (No. 15).
14. Vincent Tan
Has run Berjaya, which means "success" in Malay, since 1984; interests in hotels, lotteries, real estate and financial services. Selling its stake in moneylosing U.S. eatery Roadhouse Grill; setting up a school in China. Last July went to Bosnia, reportedly to visit and fund the excavation of controversial "pyramids" that some say are proof of a lost civilization.
15. Yaw Chee Ming
Chief executive of Samling Global, founded by his father. M.B.A. from University of Southern California has helped professionalize group with new IT, accounting systems. Took it public on Hong Kong stock exchange earlier this year. Offering was subject of protests by human rights and environmental groups. Company denies any violations.
16. Vinod Sekhar
38. Married, 2 children
Heads privately held Petra Group, named after his daughter. Group developed several technologies, including patented process called DeLink that devulcanizes used rubber so it can be recycled. Now negotiating with companies, governments to commercialize process. Forbes Vice Chairman Christopher Forbes is minor shareholder in group. Sekhar loves Cuban cigars; collects ties with Mickey Mouse motifs. His father, a former head of Malaysian government's rubber agency, died last September.
17. Jeffrey Cheah
62. Married, 3 children
Accountant started a tin mining company in 1974. Later became Sunway Group, which develops properties, runs tolls, manages quarries. Stock of its property outfit, Sunway City, soaring.
18. Chong Chook Yew
85. Widowed, 4 children
Columbia University grad, took over as chairperson of Selangor Properties after her husband, Wen Tien Kuang, Selangor's founder, died in 2000. Company got approval from Malaysian stock exchange in December to list its subsidiary, Help University College in Kuala Lumpur. Offering expected later this year.
19. Lim Kok Thay
Son of Lim Goh Tong (No. 3) took over as chairman of Genting Group in 2003. In December Genting won rights to gaming-and- entertainment resort on Singaporean island of Sentosa; plans include Universal Studios theme park. Reportedly pulled out of joint venture with Macau gaming tycoon Stanley Ho earlier this year. Also runs Star Cruises, world's third-largest cruise operator.
20. Lim Wee Chai
49. Married, 2 children
Started company in 1991 with only three secondhand production facilities and turned his Top Glove into one of world's largest producers of rubber gloves. Last year the $285 million (sales) company announced plans to expand into rubber plantations. In March acquired controlling stake in Singapore rival Medi-Flex.
21. Kua Sian Kooi
54. Married, 4 children
Started out as insurance salesman in 1974; now heads Kurnia Asia, one of Malaysia's biggest insurance companies, which he bought in 1991. In April acquired 80% stake in Indonesian insurance firm Aegis.
22. Tiah Thee Kian
59. Married, 5 children
In 2002 stepped down as head of TA Enterprise, with sprawling interests in financial services, after being convicted of reporting irregularities on the Malaysia bourse. Wife Tan Kuay Fong has run show since, but Tiah is rumored to be returning now that his five-year ban against directing a public company is over.
23. Mustapha Kamal Abu Bakar
58. Married, 4 children
Cofounded MK Land with Kasi K.L. Palaniappan (No. 40) in 1983. Together transformed it into one of country's largest property developers, with land bank of 6,800 acres. Stepped down as executive director in April, amid reports that he and Palaniappan clashed on management style; remains nonexecutive chairman.
24. Anthony Fernandes
Head of AirAsia, region's largest discount airline, now investing in new industries (see story, p. 30). Avid collector of baseball caps. Also a fan of Miles Davis, LL Cool J.
25. Seri Eleena Raja Azlan Shah
Trained as lawyer in U.K. Set up her own firm in Malaysia in 1987. Her wealth comes from her being the largest individual shareholder in construction firm Gamuda.
26. Lee Oi Hian
56. Married, 4 children
Son of late rubber baron Lee Loy Seng, heads chemicals company Batu Kawan and Kuala Lumpur Kepong, with interests in palm oil; owns retailer Crabtree & Evelyn. Chairs Malaysian Palm (nasdaq: PALM - news - people ) Oil Council.
27. Lee Hau Hian
54. Married, 1 child
Managing director of Batu Kawan. Like brother Lee Oi Hian (above) has share in the group and Kuala Lumpur Kepong. Third brother Soo Hian doesn't appear to have own stakes so drops from list.
28. Mokhzani Mahathir
46. Married, 5 children
Son of Malaysia's former prime minister Mohamad Mahathir. Petroleum engineer chairs energy company Kencana, which went public in December. Distributor of Porsche in Malaysia; personally owns four. Amateur race car driver also chairs a race track.
29. G. Gnanalingam
62. Married, 3 children
Runs Westports, Malaysia's largest privately owned port, which he founded in 1994. Said to be making way for son Ruben to eventually take over. Also owns a stake in pencilmaker Pelikan and logistics firm Konsortium Logistiks.
30. Abdul Hamed Sepawi
57. Married, 2 children
Has grown timber outfit, Ta Ann, from small trading firm to group with more than 3,000 employees. Benefiting from strong demand for plywood. Chairs property firm Naim Cendera, director of power company Sarawak Enterprise.
31. Kamarudin Meranun
45. Married, 5 children
Cofounded AirAsia with Tony Fernandes (No. 24). Deputy group chief executive company's second-largest individual shareholder. Previously spent more than decade in financial services.
32. Lau Cho Kun
Largest shareholder in Malaysian Mosaics, which makes tiles, and Hap Seng, a construction company. His holding company bought out Malaysian Mosaics' stake in Hap Seng. Lau holds no position at either company.
33. Ong Leong Huat
63. Married, 5 children
Runs OSK group, which includes financial services firm OSK Holdings, OSK Property, OSK Ventures.
34. Lin Yun Ling
52. Married, 2 children
Managing director of construction firm Gamuda. Has 30 years of experience in civil engineering and construction.
35. Liew Kee Sin
48. Married, 4 children
Started career as banker. Joined real estate outfit SP Setia in 1996 as a director, later became chief executive. Recently sponsored free two-day musical concert for 80,000, with some of Malaysia's biggest pop stars, plus fireworks.
36. Lee Swee Eng
Engineer cofounded oil services and equipment company KNM in 2000. Fast growth being fueled by acquisitions and strong sales from dozens of clients including U.S. firm Halliburton (nyse: HAL - news - people ).
37. Ahmayuddin bin Ahmad
50. Married, 4 children
Board member, along with colleague G. Gnanalingam (No. 29) of Westports, Malaysia's largest privately owned port. Also has stakes in pencilmaker Pelikan, logistics firm Konsortium Logistiks.
38. Hamdan Mohamad
51. Married, 2 children
Runs infrastructure and engineering conglomerate Ranhill Group. Its Ranhill Utilities is one of the country's biggest water suppliers. More than half of Ranhill Group's sales are outside of Malaysia. Current projects include housing contract to build 10,000 apartments in Tripoli and hydropower plant in Pakistan. Avid polo player.
39. Khoo Kay Peng
Through his MUI conglomerate has interests in about 10 public companies. Most valuable holding is British retailer Laura Ashley, which he chairs. MUI started out as maker of toothbrushes and household items in 1960.
40. Kasi K.L. Palaniappan
Former architect and university professor founded MK Land with Mustapha Kamal Abu Bakar. Took over as managing director and acting chief executive in April; share price subsequently doubled.