Who would have thought that the world’s first ‘trillionaire’ would come from Malaysia, a Malay even? At first glance, his looks screams mediocre businessman yet he is said to be the founder of one of the most influential oil and gas company who managed to extend six arms throughout the world. Despite his extraordinary wealth, he must have stayed low all these while (and I wonder how he managed to do that?!). Even his Facebook fan page has only 281 ‘Likes’. For a trillionaire he must have lived such a low-key life.
Who is Kamal Ashnawi, really? Even Google didn’t provide much information on him.
His name became a household topic in less than a week when he held a press conference and claimed that he is worth 5 trillion euros (equivalent to RM20 trillion). That is well in excess of Carlos Slim Helú, Mexican telco tycoon (touted) the world wealthiest man in 2011 by Forbes Magazine and number 23 in the world’s most powerful people list.
The man even outranks Oprah Winfrey, the richest African American of the 20th century, the greatest black philanthropist in American history, and was for a time the world’s only black billionaire.
Anyway, Malaysian Digest had the ‘privilege’ to meet him recently along with few other journalists to seek his story on why he had returned to help the Malays by ‘sharing’ some of his wealth. So, a bit of a background… Kamal was born and raised in Tanjung Malim Perak. He did his schooling at Sekolah Alam Shah (SAS) in Selangor for his secondary education. He later went to Dartmouth College in UK for his Marine Engineering and continued to further his study in Delft TU in the Netherlands.
For almost 20 years he resided in the Netherlands and became a Dutch citizen before he made a decision to return to Malaysia to be a good Samaritan to the people in his homeland. Prior to this, Kamal has been working as a consultant with Royal Shell and other Sierra Petroleum project companies. And, by the way, the man has 16 international passports (top that!).
Kamal’s Wonderland Projects
His vast experiences in oil and gas also include working experiences with some EPCC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction, and Commissioning) companies in Europe. Given that, he intended to develop a World Class Petroleum Industry Hub here in Malaysia and within Asia.
“This is my last bid to help the Malays and enterprises by investing in three projects in Perlis, Johor and Kelantan, in the near future,” he was quoted in the media.
Kamal plans to propose projects such as commercial tourist center in Kuala Perlis, theme parks themed Pirates of the Caribbean in Danga Bay, Johor Baharu, as well as a commercial project in Kelantan.
“I plan to build a replica of the giant squid just like in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie, and the squid would emerge from the sea just like the movie where its tentacles would spin around and around,” said Kamal narrating about his proposed project in Danga Bay.
Not just that, he also dreams of building the biggest swimming pool in the world with buildings underneath the pool, and also a reconstruction of the pyramid which is said to be impossible to build. Sounds like a fantasy, doesn’t it? Well, nothing’s impossible… yet, if you really have the dough, it could be possible… maybe… perhaps.
Anyway, about his projects in Perlis and Kelantan, Kamal plans to turn Kuala Perlis into a tourist hub that can put Langkawi to shame. In Tumpat, Kelantan, he plans to build a royal residing place – a place exclusively for the royalties to live in.
Unfortunately, Malaysia does not recognize him in the list of rich and famous. He was unheard of in Malaysia except in 2005 when he proposed and was turned down for an oil refinery project in Malaysia. Now he wants to renew the ‘kinship’ with Malaysia in developing a petroleum hub in Malaysia and he intends to give his company to be managed by a group of Sekolah Alam Shah’s alumni.
When asked whether he had intended to meet the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, he retorted with the question, “Why should I meet him? You tell me why should I meet him?”
President of Sierra Petroleum
As the president of Sierra Petroleum, Kamal has spearheaded the company to its extensive acclaimed income of US$1.5 trillion despite its mediocre looking website. Sierra Petroleum operates exclusively in oil and gas activities primarily engaged in acquiring, developing, exploiting and producing oil and gas properties.
Sierra Petroleum also manages and handles pools of various funds in the international financial market including the running of high-yield financial programs and channeling out and distributing the profits derived from Sierra Petroleum World Corporate Wealth Program. Sierra Petroleum Regional Division includes Africa, Oceania, Asia, Europe and America.
Emperor of Indonesia, China and Prince of India
Kamal also claimed throne of Indonesia, China as well as the prince of India. Claimed to be a royal descendant from Java, Indonesia, with the name Raden Mas Prabhu Gusti Agung Ki Asmoro Wijoyo, and a reincarnation of China’s past emperors. However, he told that he is expected to be crowned as ‘Emperor’ of Indonesia carrying the names ‘Paduka Ekatat Pangeran Ratu Gusti Agung Sri Maharaja Prabhu Hyang Ida Bathara Svambhu Raden Mas Ki Asmoro Wijoyo’ or ‘Paduka Shah Alam Tengku Khalifatullah Kamal Ashnawi Putra Al-Rashid Maliqul Muqsith Syed Putra Alam Shah’ in the next few years in a grand coronation ceremony. (Raden is a noble term bestowed automatically to the second until seventh descendents of the king who had ruled Java.)
He is said to be traveling exclusively with his private jet and enjoys his singledome since he has eight ‘dayangs’ (female attendees) to cater his every whims. During the interview, he tells that once he is crowned as the Emperor of Indonesia, he will have 800 ‘dayangs’ and 1,200 bodyguards accompanying him, and he will have eight private planes traveling with him whenever he visits a country. Yup, that’s what he said.
An interview with Mingguan Malaysia revealed that he is indeed a trillionaire and he backed up his claims by presenting copies of bank statements from HSBC in London to the few ‘selected’ reporters. The bank statement alone is a supple evident of him to become the first person in the world to be called “trillionaire”.
But where was he all these while? Why can’t Forbes netted him as one of the most influential people or slipped him into the list of the world’s richest? According to Forbes, the richest man Malaysia is Ananda Krishnan, which has a wealth of “only” US$9.6 billion.
Kamal explained during the press conference that his wealth was derived from the royal heritage through the accounts of the Combined International Collateral Accounts of the Global Debt Facility in 1875 and that he is the owner of the combined account and sole arbiter of royal assets.
“It’s a cumulative amount of generations of assets since 1,500 years ago,” said Kamal explaining on how one is able to attain such ridiculous amount of wealth.
A claim was made that in 1875 the wealth and assets of the royal families and nations held under colonial rule were centralized into one combined account to be used to the benefit of all nations of the world.
Kamal admitted living abroad to take care of business following the failure of a crude oil refinery project in Kuala Kedah he advanced in 2005.
Regarding the HSBC claim, the media is still waiting for the response from HSBC Holdings plc (commonly known as HSBC) headquarters in London, in support or refute of Kamal’s claim.
And, before he ended the press conference, he gave out a message that said, “This is the first and the last time you’ll see me.” Thank God we took some pictures of him…