Sukanto Tanoto

Sep 7th, 2006, in Business & Economy, by

The richest man in Indonesia is Sukanto Tanoto, says Forbes.

Sukanto Tanoto, the owner of Grup Raja Garuda Mas, a conglemorate involved in the paper industry, construction, palm oil, and machinery, was said by Forbes Asia magazine to be worth $2,8 billion or about 25.2 trillion rupiah, measured by both public and private shareholdings, held by both Sukanto and members of his family.

Sukanto Tanoto, whose Chinese birth name is Tan Kang Hoo, has some notoriety about his name given the fact that he was the owner of the failed bank PT Unibank Tbk. which still has outstanding debt of over $230 million to Bank Indonesia. Additionally the Riau Complex, owned by Tanoto, owes $1.5 billion, or about 13.5 trillion rupiah, to a syndicate of five banks, chief among them Bank Mandiri, which is owed Rp. 5.4 trillion. One Mansyur S. Nasution, of PT Bank Mandiri Tbk. said:

Everyone has the right to be rich but you have to pay your debts.
(Kaya itu hak setiap orang, tapi utang wajib dibayar.)

Bank Mandiri is currently pursuing Sukanto Tanoto through the courts.

A spokesman for Sutanto, Ratih Harjono, said, of the Forbes Asia report:

Mr Kanto told me that he doesn't know why he was chosen as number one.
(Pak Kanto bilang ke saya, dia tidak tahu mengapa bisa menjadi nomor satu.)

The Richest Men in Indonesia List
The Richest Men in Indonesia List.

Following our controversial main man in the rankings were, among others, Putera Sampoerna, Rachman Halim and R. Budi Hartono - men who all made their fortunes from kretek cigarettes. Ranked third, Eka Tjipta Widjaja and his family, with a net worth of $2 billion, built their fortune on pulp and paper.

Further down the list, real estate mogul Trihatma Haliman amassed $900 million selling apartments in Jakarta. Others, like Eddy William Katuari's Wing Group and Liem Sioe Liong's Indofood are involved in retail laundry detergent and instant noodles respectively. Aburizal Bakrie, the current minister for the economy, was ranked 6th. Upon being asked as to why he was not ranked first he is reported to have said only "I wish".

The complete list of the forty richest men in Indonesia is so:

  • Sukanto Tanoto & family
  • Putera Sampoerna & family
  • Eka Tjipta Widjaja & family
  • Rachman Halim & family
  • R. Budi Hartono & family
  • Aburizal Bakrie & family
  • Eddy William Katuari & family
  • Trihatma Haliman
  • Arifin Panigoro
  • Liem Sioe Liong & family
  • Mochtar Riady & family
  • Peter Sondakh
  • Prajogo Pangestu
  • Martua Sitorus
  • Paulus Tumewu
  • Murdaya Poo and Siti Hartati Cakra
  • Husein Djojonegoro & family
  • Chairul Tanjung
  • Hadi Surya
  • Tan Kian
  • Sjamsul Nursalim
  • George and Sjakon Tahija
  • Edwin Soeryadjaya
  • Kartini Muljadi and Dian Paramita Tamzil
  • Harjo Sutanto & family
  • Soegiharto Sosrodjojo
  • Tan Siong Kie
  • Aksa Mahmud
  • Soetjipto Nagaria
  • Ciputra & family
  • Kris Wiluan
  • Sutanto Djuhar & family
  • Husein Sutjiadi
  • Boenjamin Setiawan & family
  • Tomy Winata
  • Jusuf Kalla
  • Soedarpo Sastrosatomo & family
  • Alim Markus & family
  • Jakob Oetama
  • Tjandra Kusuma

See the 2007 list.


26 Comments on “Sukanto Tanoto”

  1. avatar Anonymous says:

    If you think not paying $1.5 billion is a big deal, think again .. how about Eka Tjipta Widjaja who never pays any bank for the $13.5 billion total that he owes to a syndicate of banks.

  2. avatar James Wijaya says:

    I’m surprised that Indonesian goverment just simply washed their hands of the cases.

    WHY increasing the basic commodity price such as rice or fuel etc, while the goverment could catch these bastard !

    Some of the corruptors even were already off the hooke……

    I wished our president could act more seriously rather than saving his own ass….

    Jusuf Kalla, and the rest of 39 richest men in Indonesia ….YOUR PEOPLE NEED YOU….

    WE NEED TO EAT !

    PLEASE HELP US !

  3. avatar Mike&Miki says:

    It is actually very simple if Government of Indonesia seriously wants Sukanto Tanoto to pay his outstanding debt to Bank Indonesia;
    If it is proven that he still has outstanding debt of over USD230 Mio to bank Indonesia, Ask our Auditor General to seize all of his and family assets in Indonesia.
    For sure, Bank Indonesia knows his assets whereabouts.

  4. avatar bradlymail says:

    All the Indonesian billionaires are their (corruptors) paymasters. I know Putera Sampoerna & family, they also stay in Singapore, in Bukit Timah district and guided by Auxillary Police. They owned few horse stables in Malaysia and Singapore. Yes, they are richest, but their propeties are being transferred to other countries like Singapore to prevent taxes in Indonesia. What a shame!

  5. avatar Tomaculum says:

    bradlymail,
    I think they (the richs) transfer their properties/money to other countries not to avoid paying taxes, because you can “modify” the taxes in Indonesia. The reason is that they don’t have any confidence of the stability and safety in Indonesia, so they will already have “some” money under the mattress if they have to escape. And not only rich chinese think that way, but also rich pribumis.
    Think further, why do the richs go to other countries for medical treatment? That belongs also to safety. (only an example).

    _____________

    Btw:
    Lim Sioe Liong has only 0,8 Bill. US$?
    🙂 )
    I must laugh very loudly!!

  6. avatar Mike&Miki says:

    No point for us to criticize them while there is no real action from the authorities to force them to settle their incredible indebtedness this far..
    There is something fishy about the affairs, isn’t it?

  7. avatar bradlymail says:

    Tomaculum

    The reason is that they don’t have any confidence of the stability and safety in Indonesia, so they will already have “some” money under the mattress if they have to escape. And not only rich chinese think that way, but also rich pribumis.

    As a good citizen without prejudice you must pay taxes in the country where you earn the living and make you riches! It was not because instability or safety in Indonesia. As you know majority of the banks owned by the chinese, are they cannot be trusted? I don’t think so! Even I am not rich, I pay taxes to the government and ‘zakat and fitrah’ yearly, and keep my money in the local bank.

  8. avatar Tomaculum says:

    bradymail

    As you know majority of the banks owned by the chinese”¦are they cannot be trusted ?

    Of course they can be trusted. They the banks do transfer the properties (read: money) carefully abroad.

    The banks are not the problem, but the instable political situation in Indonesia. Imagine you are very rich and you have your whole properties in Indonesia (house, cars, money at the banlks, factories etc) and it comes to disturbances in Indonesia. What will you do? Maybe the government will stop immediately the property transfer abroad at that time, and then?

    And, bradymail, also the rich “pribumis” (sorry I don’t like this term, but I don’t know other words for this currently) have parts of their money abroad.

    That happens everywhere, even in Europe. The riches try more and more to avoid paying taxes.

  9. avatar b_k1nD says:

    To TOMACULUM,

    It is not becuase they do not want to pay corp tax or personal tax. Even if they pay full amount of tax, the tax income will not 100% goes to government. Only a stupid “person” (sorry for the word), will pay full amount of tax. I believe, if Indonesian government has a good tax control, Im sure, all business men will pay tax as per required.

  10. avatar Tomaculum says:

    b_k1nD, your statement is right but not complete: only a stupid and honest person will pay the full amount of the tax.

    And I think this:

    Even if they pay full amount of tax, the tax income will not 100% goes to government.

    is not the cause. One of the reason is that they just want to have financial security if they have to leave Indonesia immediately. And it happened sometimes in the past, didn’t it?

  11. avatar acoy says:

    Hey, come on guys! They are rich because the are a good enterpreneur, that is for sure! We have to admit that. I just wish, that they also can develop their country with that money, by paying the debt. But, I still salute for the work to be rich!

  12. avatar avversamorte says:

    I agree with acoy with respecting them for getting rich on their brains for business. Liem Sioe Leong is probably the most wealthy. Anyways, maybe you guys read too much tabloid, the government did not raise the price of oil, they simply raised the subsidy, after this the government was able to pay of the hefty debt to the world bank, lifting Indonesia out of the red. Also the economy flourished soon after, now having an economy surplus of 50 billion USD if i am not wrong. The main question, why do the government not chase the rich for their owing to the bank? simply because the effect on the economy they would have if they did, all of these large conglomerates have tonnes of people working under them, if they were to be declared bankrupt and all their assets seized, the commoners would be greatly affected not mentioning the repercussions it might have on the economy and in the business fraternity. Oh and let’s be realistic, corruption exist anywhere in the world.

  13. avatar Raden says:

    Lets think the big picture.
    The total top 10 Indonesian richest assets approx. USD 15 Billion. Lets assume that half of it were supposed to be seized back to gov’t due to their massive debts during financial crisis, so we are talking USD 7.5 Billion money. Lets say our government have the ability & honest attitude to prosecute them all one by one by 2007, actually with or without extradition they can do that, just asked to General Sonthi on what is his trick to drag Thaksin back to Thailand for trials.

    Now, lets compare it with Pertamina 2005 total revenue was Rp 300 trillion or USD 31 Billion, the crude oil price was at the top USD 71/barrel which made all the National Oil Companies were in super surplus.
    And we still have many huge other mining income, supposedly if all of them are profitable from well-known companies like PT. Freeport, PT Timah, PUSRI, INALUM, etc.

    The USD 7.5 B of amount of ‘debt’ looks not too big if you compare it with Indonesia total GDP in 2005, that was USD 215 B.

    Then, what is a big matter that our DPR/Parliament shouting loudly & highlight the national insult because of failure of extradition negotiation with Singapore? Is this another kind of inward looking propaganda to wong cilik? Another sample of Suharto’s tricks to swing wong-cilik’s attention away from scrutinizing why most of our BUMN are losing money all the time ? ck ck ck, if all BUMN are making big profit since 1997 then we may never experience the terrible financial crises that drag off all of our conglomerate into bankruptcy, kapan nih bisa maju?

  14. avatar Raden says:

    I suggest to Parliament & Cabinet to make another new list, beside of zooming attention only to Indonesian conglomerate who are mostly chinese corruptors & etc all kind of negative attributes to them (rampok lah, not loyal to country lah, etc), then we should also list down of all former Direktur Utama, Chairman & Direksi of those BUMN who are rugi terus, let’s make the long list:
    – by industry segments like oil & gas, mining, banking, insurance, industrial, IPTN, etc.
    – List the Name.
    – Where are they living now?
    – How much asset he had before becoming Direktur Utama and after today?
    – Race – this is important to educate wong cilik, where are those Indonesian money went & belong to whom?
    – Open it! Make a statistic from 1997 until today.
    – Compare it the losses vs the debts because of those bankcrupt conglomerates in 1997
    Then it is a democracy nation with full transparancy indeed. This is not a super project but why there are no focus on this by DPR?

  15. avatar wazo says:

    Why seize information from these rich guys? They have built their wealth through being smart, working hard and making the best of the resources available to them. Taking an aggressive stand against them just screws up the country more.

    It doesnt make sense why the government and citizens want to screw the private sector so much. The government sector is in total shambles. Pertamina is one the best examples on how bureacracy induces corruption and inefficeny. Get your government controlled sector right and run them professionally and make them earn you some real profit. Why will I as a private sector entreprenaur pay taxes when i know that the directors in the public sector fattening up eating my money.

    What is important in the private sector is to make sure that monopolies do not rise. Give everyone a chance of fair competition and prove your legitimacy and charge taxes fairly for services that you actually provide.

  16. avatar Unnamed says:

    As long as I knew, these 40 richest lists was prepared by the Fortune&Forbes magazine New York under the control of one of the Indonesian conglomerate’s grandson who currently works and has a major shares in that magazine company. As a clue, this grandson’s name is to be initialed JR. He was a Georgetown graduate who currently works on his grads degree in University of Pennsylvania (Upenn). He is believed to be the eldest son of Mr. JR who owns bank, real-estate, hospitals, and a number of private international school in Jakarta.

  17. avatar Pakmantri says:

    James Riadi? 😉

  18. avatar Johan Vesteburg says:

    Will sukanto tanoto ever be extradited to indonesia? I hear he is now living in singapore.

  19. avatar ed abbey says:

    The most plausible answer to why these ‘money-men’ have more than enough money is because their uncanny abilities to exploit the hence profit from destroying living organisms big and small contained in forest-ecosystem legally. Why? because their destructive tools (read: corporations) are limited in their liabilities. And when they worked in-tandem with the bureaucrats and aided by hired scientists and technocrats, they become horribly powerful. When these trio merged they will become a powerful-body that command more than-enough power to do more than enough damage to LIFE–they can basically do whatever they wishes to do–including Biocide and ultimately Planeticide!

  20. avatar Ron says:

    Not quite sure if I agree with your opinion about Sukanto Tanoto though. Despite the allegations, he’s come through as a smart entrepreneur and a champion of CSR in Indonesia.

  21. avatar Teacher says:

    Be real, ladies and gentlemen.

    By only accusing one ethnic, you forgot pointing your finger to own government which majorities is Native-person.
    Biggest corruption still in birocracy.
    BUMN is one of the Indo’s money leakage company.

    How can BLBI-problem Bakrie, can take the minister position?
    Should be paid the debt before take the seat.
    What about Lapindo? Lapindo-gate is a failed project to extract oil, caused by human error. And what about the compensation to civilian?

    So instead of only pointing finger to one ethnic only, please also be fair.

    If you neutral, why don’t point both? Especially on ‘leakage’ on government and birocracy.
    We can only be discipline to build nation. Not by ONLY pointing fingers to others.
    But also have crystal-clear analysis capability and the real judgement.

    ENVY LEAD TO CRIME

    Indo is better from China, in these category :
    1. corruption,
    2. less-developed,
    3. no-technology,
    4. less-independent,
    5. religion-fanatics,
    6. less-educated,
    7. less-money,
    8. short-minded,
    9. pornography,
    10.drugs
    11.no-own developed satellite (still the old one),
    12.no-ability to the moon,
    13.no-weapon to protect own territory (even from Malay),
    14.racism,
    15.rich Natural Resources,
    etc.

    China is nothing compared to the list above that Indonesia always excellent at.

    End of topic

  22. avatar dragonwall says:

    avversamorte

    The main question, why do the government not chase the rich for their owing to the bank?

    Was that the real problem to Indonesia? Or is there some other problem?

    Raden, with this

    List the Name.- Where are they living now?

    To start bounty hunting? And

    – How much asset he had before becoming Direktur Utama and after today?

    You think this to be possible? Do you actually know how a company is tructured? And what is a PT under legal term? What are their liabilities? And so by saying this

    Race – this is important to educate wong cilik, where are those Indonesian money went & belong to whom?

    to start another discrimination? then with this

    – Open it! Make a statistic from 1997 until today.
    – Compare it the losses vs the debts because of those bankcrupt conglomerates in 1997
    Then it is a democracy nation with full transparancy indeed. This is not a super project but why there are no focus on this by DPR?

    Not only it become impossible, it will create more room for corruption to prevail.

    Friend. Understand the problem deep right into the root. IT IS THE GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL. NOT THE BUSINESS PEOPLE!

    bY SAYING

    Why seize information from these rich guys? They have built their wealth through being smart, working hard and making the best of the resources available to them. Taking an aggressive stand against them just screws up the country more.

    Because there is no other way of corrupting except from these people. Don’t you get it!

    The government sector is in total shambles. Pertamina is one the best examples on how bureacracy induces corruption and inefficeny. Get your government controlled sector right and run them professionally and make them earn you some real profit. Why will I as a private sector entreprenaur pay taxes when i know that the directors in the public sector fattening up eating my money.

    They should start with Ibnu Sutowo, Ponco Sutowo.

    What is important in the private sector is to make sure that monopolies do not rise. Give everyone a chance of fair competition and prove your legitimacy and charge taxes fairly for services that you actually provide.

    With attitudes like Jusuf Kalla and ABU, I think it is fat hope. They will still be the same. Back track into what Jusuf Kalla said. He is authorizing loans of up to 90% of mostly pribumi business people. Just imagine the kind of corruption big time he will create for himself. Like in the case of Taiwan’s disgrace president.

    Unnamed Says:

    As long as I knew, these 40 richest lists was prepared by the Fortune&Forbes magazine New York under the control of one of the Indonesian conglomerate’s grandson who currently works and has a major shares in that magazine company. As a clue, this grandson’s name is to be initialed JR. He was a Georgetown graduate who currently works on his grads degree in University of Pennsylvania (Upenn). He is believed to be the eldest son of Mr. JR who owns bank, real-estate, hospitals, and a number of private international school in Jakarta.

    with Pakmantri Saying

    James Riadi?

    Do you think so unnamed? Do you think the Forbes magazine will be allowed to do that even if they part owned it?

    He is referring to the son of John Riady.

    Please understand the Lee Family and if you do not understand how they came up please keep you mouth shut. Just because James was invovled in the Clinton Gate affair you guy start to point fingers at everyone.

    They are a group of highly educated and religious persons if you are close to them unlike what many other’s thought. He used to be the Director of bank Duta and BCA while with Lippo.
    Doesn’t mean that everyone who is a Chinese are corrupt so that you know.

    Johan Vesteburg Says:

    Will sukanto tanoto ever be extradited to indonesia? I hear he is now living in singapore.

    If he is proven guilty, why not?

    ed abbey Says:

    The most plausible answer to why these ‘money-men’ have more than enough money is because their uncanny abilities to exploit the hence profit from destroying living organisms big and small contained in forest-ecosystem legally. Why? because their destructive tools (read: corporations) are limited in their liabilities. And when they worked in-tandem with the bureaucrats and aided by hired scientists and technocrats, they become horribly powerful. When these trio merged they will become a powerful-body that command more than-enough power to do more than enough damage to LIFE–they can basically do whatever they wishes to do–including Biocide and ultimately Planeticide!

    So you mean they can do what they like? And be above the law? You Insecticide.

    Ron Says:

    Not quite sure if I agree with your opinion about Sukanto Tanoto though. Despite the allegations, he’s come through as a smart entrepreneur and a champion of CSR in Indonesia.

    That shows that there i nothing wrong with these people, except that they don’t want to be manipulated and squeezed of their hard earn money. The biggest culprit is BOB HASAN and all those people from the Kehutanan Departmen.

    Teacher Says:

    By only accusing one ethnic, you forgot pointing your finger to own government which majorities is Native-person.
    Biggest corruption still in birocracy.
    BUMN is one of the Indo’s money leakage company.
    How can BLBI-problem Bakrie, can take the minister position?

    That is the real problem with the government.

    Should be paid the debt before take the seat.

    I think he only deserve the toilet seat.

    What about Lapindo? Lapindo-gate is a failed project to extract oil, caused by human error. And what about the compensation to civilian?

    I think we should call this LAPGATE. You know sit on the lap and open the gate to flush out all the Indonesian government’s money.

    So instead of only pointing finger to one ethnic only, please also be fair.

    ENVY LEAD TO CRIME

    Well said.

  23. avatar diego says:

    Why am I having this impression that the majority of chinese in Indonesia (or south east asia in general, including singapore) are from the lowliest lot from china?

    I mean, the chinese people I met in china (such as beijing) are much more respectable; good kind of people.

    But in Indonesia, all I hear about indonesia / singaporean people are corruptors, thieves, etc.

    Is it true that they’re the widely-despised descendent of hokkiens?

  24. avatar dragonwall says:

    You want it come right to the point.

    You are not getting the impression, but because you always thinks so.

    Then I am telling right now that you have the world to hate the Muslims.

    Hide yourslef and weaving away from the mainstream will not get you very far.

  25. avatar DXP says:

    Is this the way Indonesia gov’t ruling their country ? My bahasa is terrible, I quoted from Kompas, someone please translate it for me ….

    Tommy Soeharto “Kalahkan” Sri Mulyani

    PRI
    Tommy Soeharto
    /
    Rabu, 11 Februari 2009 | 15:45 WIB
    JAKARTA, RABU — Gugatan Menteri Keuangan Sri Mulyani terhadap putra bungsu mantan Presiden Soeharto, Hutomo Mandala Putra, dinyatakan tidak terbukti oleh Majelis Hakim Pengadilan Negeri Jakarta Pusat yang dipimpin oleh Reno Lestono, Rabu (11/2).

    Selain gugatan terhadap Tommy, keputusan yang sama pun diterima Sri Mulyani atas gugatannya terhadap sejumlah perusahaan yakni PT Vista Bella Pratama, PT Mandala Buana Bakti, Humpus, PT Timor Putra Nasional. Serta turut tergugat Amazonas Finance Limited. Kesemuanya terkait pembelian hak piutang BPPN oleh Vista Bella Pratama.

    Menurut majelis hakim, jaksa penuntut negara tidak dapat mengajukan bukti-bukti yang dapat membuktikan bahwa Tommy memiliki afiliasi dengan Vista Bella Pratama. Selain itu, para tergugat juga dinyatakan tidak melanggar hukum karena perbuatan tergugat dinilai tidak merugikan pihak mana pun. “Perjanjian pengalihan piutang tersebut atas dasar kesepakatan bersama,” ujar Reno.

    Gugatan ini berawal ketika PT Timor Putra Nasional (TPN) terbelit utang yang mencapai Rp 4,045 triliun dari Bank Dagang Negara dan Bank Bumi Daya. Kemudian, BPPN mengambil alih piutang TPN dari kedua bank tersebut. Lalu, BPPN menjual piutang atau hak tagih atas hutang TPN kepada Vista Bella Pratama, yang disinyalisasi milik Tommy, dengan harga miring, yakni Rp 444 miliar

  26. avatar May Lee says:

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