KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 11 — Malaysian tycoon Tan Sri Chen Lip Keong’s death was announced today by his Hong Kong-listed company NagaCorp Ltd, confirming news reports since yesterday.
In an announcement published at 7am on Hong Kong’s stock exchange’s dedicated site for listed company announcements, NagaCorp Ltd’s board of directors said it was announcing with great sadness that the company’s founder had died on December 8.
“The board of directors (“Board”) of NagaCorp Ltd. (“Company”, and together with its subsidiaries, “Group”) announces with great sadness that Tan Sri Dr Chen Lip Keong (“Dr Chen” or the “Founder”), the Senior Chief Executive Officer of the Group and an executive director of the Company, passed away on December 8, 2023 due to illness,” NagaCorp said in the announcement that was also published on its own website.
NagaCorp’s board also expressed its deepest sorrow on his death and conveyed its deepest condolences to his family, while also lauding Dr Chen’s leadership and contribution to the group of companies under NagaCorp.
“The Board would also like to express its heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to Dr Chen for his invaluable leadership, guidance and contribution to the Group during his tenure of office. Dr Chen had established a solid foundation of the Group after more than 28 years of steady growth.
“His many years of entrepreneurial, business and managerial experiences had been instrumental to the Group’s success. Under Dr Chen’s visionary leadership, the Group has been achieving remarkable growth and development after years of careful navigation of the business and skilful and strategic management,” it said.
The company’s board also announced that one of Chen’s sons — Chen Yiy Fon, an executive director of NagaCorp — has been redesignated from December 10 as the group of companies’ new chief executive officer to assume leadership of NagaCorp and to take over the duties and responsibilities previously held by Dr Chen.
The company said Yiy Fon was previously the chief executive officer-operations of NagaCorp since April 5, 2022.
NagaCorp also said it would continue the group’s business operations by following the board’s business strategies, with the company’s board also viewing that Chen’s death would not have any material impact on the group’s operations.
Based on the company announcement, NagaCorp Ltd is a company incorporated in the Cayman Islands with limited liability.
According to the latest ranking by US business magazine Forbes as of May 2023, Chen was the seventh richest person in Malaysia with a wealth or net worth of US$2.8 billion.
Chen’s death was first reported yesterday by Malaysia’s Chinese-language business paper Nanyang Siang Pau as an exclusive news report, with the newspaper having cited reliable sources on the businessman’s death at the age of 75 in the US.
Chen, who was a medical graduate from Universiti Malaya, had in 1995 founded NagaCorp, which runs a casino business in Cambodia.
According to its website, NagaCorp has a 70-year gaming licence until 2065 in Cambodia and also has an exclusive right until 2045 to operate casinos within a 200km radius of Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh (except for certain locations such as Cambodia-Vietnam border area, Bokor, Kirirom Mountains and Sihanoukville).
NagaCorp operates the casino and hotel resort NagaWorld in Phnom Penh, as well as its subsequent expansion of its casino business via Naga 2 (opened in 2017) and also has an underground shopping mall NagaCity Walk (opened in 2016) which connects the two hotel and gaming complexes Nagaworld and Naga 2.