Profile | Chan Meng Kam: From poor migrant to Macau magnate

Chan Meng Kam first arrived in Macau as the son of a poor Fujian farmer, where he began his transformation into one of Macau’s most influential politicians and businessmen.
His initial successes as a casino owner and then as the president of its holding company made the Fujian-born businessman very wealthy. When he entered mainstream politics in 2005, Chan was successful in rallying Macau locals of Fujian-descent to his cause. His prominent positions in business and politics have now made Chan a highly influential figure in Macau.
He is the president of the Golden Dragon Group, a company that Chan and a “group of four to five partners” started in 1990. It has expanded to include industries such as gaming, hotels, retail and real estate. He is also the co-owner of U Wa, a shareholder in Pearl Oriental Enterprises, president of the Macau Paralympic Committee, and chairman of the City University of Macau
A Commission Against Corruption (CCAC) investigation was launched after the 2013 election to look into an alleged case of vote-buying by members of Chan’s party. Two staff members from the campaign team were found guilty earlier in 2015 and each was sentenced to over a year in prison. Chan has denied the accusation, claiming that “the law had been selectively applied,” and suggesting that the CCAC ought to investigate other political parties.
According to asset declarations made by senior officials, Chan now owns the highest number of properties of any Macau official.
Chan is alleged to have underground connections with local groups in Macau, or to have had these connections in the past. In an interview with TDM he confessed to having committed an illegal act of smuggling in Macau by entering the MSAR wearing clothing merchandise intended for sale.
In a cable on Macau politics and society exposed in 2011 by Wikileaks, US diplomats nicknamed him “the godfather.”

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