Tiong Hiew King

Tiong Hiew King

Chairman of Rimbunan Hijau Group and Member of Parliament

Date of Birth: 1935
Place of Birth: Sibu, Sarawak

Malaysia's Rimbunan Hijau is the international logging company whose activities have fuelled Asian construction for 30 years. Despite heated criticism from environmental groups, Tiong Hiew King has become one of Malaysia's richest men. His international empire now encompasses property development and media enterprises.

An ethnic Chinese, Tiong was born in Sibu, Sarawak in 1935. His career in timber began in his teens; he tapped rubber and later joined an uncle's timber company. Rimbunan Hijau began as a logging company in 1975 and it now has international logging activities in south-east Asia, North America, Russia, and in Africa in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

Rimbunan portrays itself as a responsible logger, but Greenpeace and other organisations have criticised the company's operations for both their scale and their methods. Tiong is well-known in the Chinese-speaking world as a media magnate, if perhaps a reticent one. He rarely grants interviews and his control of much of Malaysia's Chinese press is seen as an attempt to shield Rimbunan's activities from the limelight. In 1995, he acquired the Hong Kong-based Ming Pao Group, extending Rimbunan's global reach. Ming Pao publishes newspapers in Hong Kong and four North American cities.