Sukanto Tanoto is an Indonesian billionaire. He was named as Indonesian #6 richest by Forbes in 2011. Estimates worth $2,800 M.
Many people know Sukanto Tanoto as the mysterious figure, cunning, and full of controversy. Born in Belawan, North Sumatra on December 25 1949, Sukanto known as the Timber Baron because of its ability to integrate forestry business under the flag Raja Garuda Mas (RGM). He is also known as the Limping Strong Man or Mr. Power of Medan, with plenty of clout. Mr. Sukanto acquired a reputation as a street-smart, tough tycoon. People tin Medan joked that only two Raja (Kings) in North Sumatra. First, Raja Inal Siregar (former governor of North Sumatra) and Raja Garuda Mas.
His business is mainly oil palm plantation, plywood, and pulp business.
He painted himself as a entrepreneur, visionary and pioneer of a number of industries in Indonesia. Also calling himself a philantropist building the Tanoto Foundation, with the “aim of educating and empowering marginalized members of the community so that they can improve their lives”
Sukanto Tanoto donated a chair position at Carnegie Mellon, the Tanoto Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (Larry Pileggi) in 2011.
He also funded the Tanoto Professor of Diabetes Research at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School (Singapore) given to Dr. Karl Tryggvason, MD. Tanoto foundation also is known to give research money for diabetic researchat Duke-NUS. Even the PM of Singapore thanked him.
In 2005, He donated to the INSEAD library in Singapore, called Tanoto Library.
Well, is Sukanto Tanoto really that generous.
Don’t know about Professors Larry Pileggi and Karl Tryggvason, they are associated with the guy who is responsible for destroying millions of hectares of Indonesian natural forests for oil palm and paper. These professors were funded by money gained from clearing the rain forests and processed into papers.
Businessmen in Indonesia know Sukanto as a tricky businessman. He made his wealth out of nothing, all thanks to his connection with former president Soeharto.
His plywood company started from taking down rain forests. Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (or APRIL) is well known for illegal logging from peatlands in Pekan Baru.
PT Inti Indorayon Utama, his pulp and mill company was built in Porsea nearby Lake Toba of North Sumatra famous for Illegal logging, and land grabbing, water pollution in Asahan River and released toxic chlorine gas during the 1993 boiler explosion.
It is recently analyzed that APRIL’s product is made up of 84 per cent tropical rainforest fibre, while it is labeled LEI (Indonesia Ecolabel Institute) accreditation scheme which ”ensures the paper meets the particular qualifications of a fair and sustainable forest management standard”Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/rainforest-fibres-found-in-chains-office-paper-20110819-1j2bz.html#ixzz2HquOfRqh
‘I always say that the Scandinavians grow trees for their grandchildren, Americans grow them for their children. Here in Indonesia, you grow trees for yourself,’ he says with a chuckle.
Don’t know where he get this logic from, in Indonesia it takes the same amount of time to grow tree as elsewhere. The Scandinavian make sure their grandchildren will still have tree, Americans make sure their children have tree, and in Indonesia bastard like Sukanto Tanoto make sure he got all the tree for himself and none left for his children and grandchildren.