Our politicians, especially from United Malays National Organisation are wealthy in our own standards. Most from the levels of ketua bahagian, timbalan ketua bahagian, ketua pemuda, ketua wanita and above can be assumed as millionaires if not multi-millionaires. Imagine if they are ministers, deputy prime minister, prime minister or their sons, daughters or son-in-laws, daughter-in-laws etc.
They can be rich or wealthy as they like even by stealing or robbing or plundering or whatever means as they are answerable to their actions hereafter. Of course, they are honest politicians, very rare in United Malays National Organisation, mostly confined in other opposition parties.
Malaysiakini could have an estimated list of wealthiest among Malaysian politicians. We have a lot of draconian acts to protect our mega robbers during office or after retirement. Therefore, the list can be very interesting even if only based by the number of houses, lands, buildings, cars or companies they own indiscreetly.
The world's 10 wealthiest politicians
If you have been sickened by media mentions of Lord Mandelson's £2.4 million townhouse and £1 million European Union pay-off, consider that his wealth is nothing compared to the fortunes of really wealthy politicians. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger's hundreds of millions do not make our list...
1 Suleiman Kerimov - $17.5 billion
The far-right Russian senator from Dagestan struck it rich as a stakeholder in Gazprom, Russia's gas export company, and Sberbank, Eastern Europe's largest bank. Kerimov, 42, made news in 2006 when he was seriously injured after losing control of his Ferrari on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. His passenger, Playboy covergirl Tina Kandelaki, suffered minor injuries
2 Michael Bloomberg - $11.5 billion
The 66-year-old independent mayor of New York City made his billions from sales of stockmarket-tracking systems and later the Bloomberg newswire and related services after he was fired from Salomon Brothers, the investment bank, with a $10 million severance package in 1981. He has donated more than $1.4 billion to good causes and draws $1 a year for his work as mayor
3 Serge Dassault - $9.9 billion
The French aviation mogul is a member of Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP party, a senator, and mayor of Corbeil-Essonnes in Paris. He inherited Groupe Dassault from his father Marcel, who was deported to Buchenwald concentration camp in 1944 for his refusal to collaborate with the Nazis. In 1998, Dassault Jr. was given a two-year suspended sentence for corruption in the Agusta scandal
4 Silvio Berlusconi - $9.4 billion
Italy's larger-than-life prime minister (pictured, above) is weathering the crunch well - reportedly purchasing a 30-room neo-classical villa on Lake Maggiore and doubling the size of his Villa San Martino outside Milan. The super-magnate, who owns much of the country's media and AC Milan football club, laid the foundations of his fortune as a property developer during the late 1960s
5 Aburizal Bakri - $9.2 billion
The chief welfare minister of Indonesia inherited control of the vast Bakrie Group from his father, a partisan of Suharto. He ran into controversy in 2006 when drilling by a Bakrie-controlled oil and gas outfit allegedly triggered a mudslide which displaced thousands. He has been branded the "national avatar of government by conflict of interest" in the Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus
6 Rinat Akhmetov - $7.3 billion
A member of parliament for Ukraine's opposition, Rinat Akhmetov is also his country's wealthiest tycoon, with a massive coal and steel empire. Last year he founded the Foundation for Effective Governance to support economic development in Ukraine, counting Shimon Peres, the Nobel Laureate, and Hernando de Soto, the Peruvian economist, among speakers at its launch
7 Andrei Molchanov - $4 billion
The 37-year-old construction baron is a member of Russia's upper house and the adopted son of Yury Molchanov, deputy governor of St Petersburg - himself a former university colleague of Vladimir Putin. In 2005, Molchanov Jr.'s company LSR Group controversially demolished a fine 18th century barracks in St Petersburg, after it was quietly de-listed by the city authorities
8 Gleb Fetisov - $3.9 billion
The third Russian senator on our list built his fortune trading commodities in the vast Alfa Group and remains a stakeholder in Altimo, Alfa's telcoms holding company. The latter is set for "aggressive" expansion in developing markets in Asia, such as Iran and Afghanistan. Holding a doctorate in economics from Moscow State University, Fetisov maintains a low media profile
9 Kostyantin Zhevago - $3.4 billion
A member of Ukraine's parliament and aide to prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, the 34-year-old oligarch began his career as finance director of the bank Finance & Credit at 19. He has since acquired a control of the latter's holding company and plans to take the bank public by 2010. Last week, Zhevago was forced to sell 20 per cent of his mining venture Ferrexpo to clear a loan from JP Morgan
10 Saad Hariri - $3.3 billion
The son and political heir of assassinated Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri leads the Future Movement parliamentary majority in Beirut and heads Saudi Oger, the family's Riyadh-based construction, banking and telecoms empire. The graduate of Georgetown University in Washington DC lives amid ultra-tight security and is said to enjoy Cuban cigars and scuba diving
EXTRA: Three super-rich politicians who don't make the list...
Arnold Schwarzenegger - $200 million-plus
Hank Paulson - $700 million-plus
John Kerry - $230 million-plus