Sudono Salim

Sudono Salim (16 July 1916 – 10 June 2012), also known as Liem Sioe Liong, was a Chinese-born Indonesian banker and businessman. He was the richest individual in Indonesia.[2] He was the founder and chairman of the conglomerate Salim Group before handing over its management to his youngest son Anthoni Salim (now the fifth wealthiest person in Indonesia[3]) in 1992.

Sudono Salim (Lin Shaoliang)
Liem Sioe Liong
Born(1916-07-16)16 July 1916
Fuqing, Fujian, China
Died10 June 2012(2012-06-10) (aged 95)
Other namesLiem Sioe Liong
Occupation(s)Banker, businessman
Years active1936-2012
Board member ofSalim Group
SpouseLie Kim Nio (1921-2015)
Children3 sons: Albert Salim, Anthoni Salim and Andre Salim; 1 daughter: Mira Salim-Welirang
Sudono Salim
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Hanyu PinyinLín Shàoliáng
Indonesian name
IndonesianLiem Sioe Liong

Early life

In 1916, Salim was born as Lim Sioe Liong (Lin Shaoliang), in Fuqing, Fujian, China, the second son of a father. According to the Chinese zodiac, he was born in the Year of the Dragon, on the seventh day of the seventh month.[4]

In 1936, he left Fujian to join his brother Lim Ke Lok and brother-in-law Zheng Xusheng in Medan, North Sumatra.[2] Salim diversified their peanut oil trading company into the clove market, which was growing rapidly from demand for production.[5] While in Medan, his manufacturing company supplied soldiers of the Indonesian National Revolution with medical supplies and came into contact with Suharto, an officer of the army. Salim denied allegations that he also provided arms to Indonesian soldiers to resist Dutch forces.[6] As soldiers seized Dutch businesses following independence, his business subsumed many of their assets and gained a monopoly in the clove market,[5] but he denied working with Suharto in expanding his ventures.[7]

Business career

In 1952, after moving to Jakarta, Salim expanded his peanut oil trading company by establishing connections with other Overseas Chinese businessmen in Hong Kong and Singapore respectively. His soap manufacturing company became one of the primary suppliers to the Indonesian National Armed Forces. Salim later expanded his commercial activities into textile manufacturing and financial services, eventually being behind the establishment of Indonesia's largest private bank, Bank Central Asia in 1957. Following the Asian financial crisis, he was forced to give up control of the bank to the government.

In 1968, after a corporate merger, Salim gained the rights to a establish a corporate monopoly on clove importation. He also established Bogasari, a joint venture with another businessman of Hokchia ancestry where the company later became Indonesia's largest miller, producer, and supplier of flour. Windfall profits from those two companies were said to have provided him with the expansion capital to finance the establishment of cement giant Indocement in 1973.[6]

In 1990, he established the food manufacturer Indofood, Indonesia's largest maker of instant noodles.[8]

In 1992, Salim handed over management of the conglomerate Salim Group to his son Anthoni Salim.

By 1997, the Salim Group presided over US$20 billion in assets with more than 500 subsidiaries employing over 200,000 Indonesians. When the Asian Financial Crisis hit, the conglomerate incurred US$4.8 billion in debt[9] and had to give up control of Bank Central Asia in 1998 to the Indonesian government for nationalization.[10] BCA was then 30% owned by two offspring of Suharto.[11]

During the May 1998 riots, Salim fled to Singapore after a mob burned his home in Jakarta; his son remained back in Indonesia to ward off the mobs and resurrected the family business.[12] Salim eventually settled in Los Angeles in the United States.[9] Forbes magazine listed him as the 25th wealthiest businessperson in Southeast Asia in 2004 with a net worth of US$655 million.[13]

Personal life

Salim had three sons and one daughter.[6][14]

On June 10, 2012, a month before his 96th birthday, Salim passed away from natural causes in Raffles Hospital, Singapore.[15] He is buried at the Lim Chu Kang Cemetery.


  1. "印度尼西亚40富豪榜_福布斯中文网". Archived from the original on 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2011-09-25.
  2. Suryadinata 1995, p. 139
  4. Borsuk, Richard; Chng, Nancy (2013). Liem Sioe Liong's Salim Group : the business pillar of Suharto's Indonesia. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. p. 22. ISBN 9789814459570.
  5. "A Tradition of Mistrust". South China Morning Post. 15 March 2000. Archived from the original on 19 October 2006. Retrieved 31 January 2010.
  6. Suryadinata 1995, p. 140
  7. Suryadinata 1995, p. 141
  8. "Indofood Sukses Makmur, Indonesia's Largest Food Processing Company | Indonesia Investments". Retrieved 2020-04-15.
  9. Shari, Michael (28 September 1998). "Indonesia: A Tycoon Under Siege". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 1 February 2010.
  10. "Jakarta Takes Over Big Bank After Run". The New York Times. May 29, 1998. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  11. "The family firm (Jul 24, 1997)". The Economist. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  12. Vatikiotis, Michael (26 November 2004). "Indonesian Food Giant Undergoes a Transformation". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 February 2010.
  13. Doebele, Justin (27 August 2004). "Liem Sioe Liong". Forbes. Archived from the original on March 11, 2007. Retrieved 31 January 2010.
  14. Chelvi, S. Tamarai (27 November 2006). "Mirzan's wife withdraws application for divorce". The Sun. Retrieved 31 January 2010.
  15. Salim Group founder dies at 95


  • Rowley, Anthony (7 April 1983), "Birth of a Multinational", Far Eastern Economic Review, ISSN 0014-7591.
  • Siregar, Sori Ersa & Widya, Kencana Tirta (1989), Liem Sioe Liong: Dari Futching ke Mancanegara (in Indonesian), Jakarta: Pustaka Merdeka, ISBN 978-979-8054-16-7.
  • Soetriyono, Eddy (1989), Kisah Sukses Liem Sioe Liong (in Indonesian), Jakarta: Indomedia.
  • Suryadinata, Leo (1995), Prominent Indonesian Chinese: Biographical Sketches (3rd ed.), Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, ISBN 978-981-3055-04-9.

Further reading

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