A billionaire with business interests in property, energy and integrated resort, Tan Sri Chen Lip Keong is also noted in Asia-Pacific for his philanthropic activities in Cambodia and Singapore
Tan Sri Chen Lip Keong is the Malaysian billionaire behind NagaWorld, the first and only integrated resort in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, which has contributed to the country’s GDP via tourism as well as by attracting foreign direct investments. He is one of the top 10 richest Malaysians, with a net worth of more than US$3.4 billion in 2020.
Hailing from Kinta Valley, Chen studied medicine at Universiti Malaya and completed his compulsory service at Kuala Lumpur General Hospital before turning to business. His first role was in property development. Later, he ventured into Cambodia with the aim of exploring for oil; instead his Malaysian company won an international infrastructure and tourism package with a casino licence in 1994; the deal came with a 70-year tenure and a guaranteed 51-year monopoly in Phnom Penh.
Although it wasn’t a business he envisioned for himself, in 1994, Chen launched Naga's business operations on a leased barge on the Bassac River. In 2006, NagaCorp, the resort complex’s parent company, became the first integrated resort company to be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, as well as the first foreign-owned company with operations in Cambodia ever to be listed overseas. Over the years, Chen's business activities raised the economic profile of Cambodia.
Keen on contributing to the development of the country as he grows his company, in 2017 Chen invested US$369 million of his own money by establishing NagaWorld by establishing Naga2, a world-class comprehensive entertainment complex that includes five-star hotels, shopping, a theatre as well as numerous F&B facilities. Naga2 is connected to the original integrated resort via NagaCity Walk, an underground shopping mall operated by China Duty Free. Today, NagaWorld is one of the world’s most successful integrated resorts.
Being a doctor himself, Chen was sympathetic to the fight against Covid-19 and donated millions of dollars to procure vaccines in Cambodia. More recently, he contributed SG$6.7 million to Rare Disease Fund in Singapore that enables the charity fund to extend financial support to needy patients suffering from rare diseases on the island state.
Commander of the Order of Loyalty to the Crown of Malaysia