The Story of RI's 'Sugar Daddy' Assets Rp. 44 T: Has a Mistress, 8 Wives & 26 Children


Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – The sugar daddy narrative has recently been used to refer to a rich and mature man. Usually, sugar daddies also often provide financial support to someone in return for togetherness.

However, sugar daddy stories like that do not only happen today, but have also happened since time immemorial. One of the figures is Oei Tiong Ham, a businessman from Semarang who has assets of 200 million guilders or the equivalent of IDR 43 trillion. And, in terms of romance, he had many mistresses, 8 wives and 26 children.

Source of wealth

For the record, Oei Tiong Ham is the founder and owner of a large conglomerate called Oei Tiong Ham Concern (OTHC). The main focus of his business is sugar, which was very successful during Dutch colonialism.


According to Yoshihara Kunio in Oei Tiong Ham Conglomerate (1992), in the period 1910-1912, OTHC succeeded in exporting 200 thousand tons of sugar, beating Western companies. In fact, at the same time, OTHC succeeded in controlling 60% of the sugar market in the Dutch East Indies. Its branch offices are spread throughout the world, from India, Singapore to London.

Thanks to the size of the business, it is not surprising that Oei Tiong Ham has a fortune of 200 million guilders. For the record, 1 guilder in 1925 could buy 20 kg of rice. If the price of rice is IDR 10,850/kg, it is estimated that his assets are worth IDR 44 trillion. On this basis, he was nicknamed the Sugar King and was named one of the billionaires in the Dutch East Indies and the world.

Has many mistresses, 8 wives & 26 children

The spotlight on Oei Tiong Ham during the colonial period was not only about his success in building a business, but also about his family, romantic relationships, and his desire to collect wives so he could have lots of children.

It is known that Oei first married at the age of 18 to a woman named Goei Bing Nio and had two daughters. However, the two children did not make Oei satisfied.

The reason is, as explained by Benny G. Setiono in Chinese in the Political Vortex (2008), Oei wants to have many offspring because he believes that having many children will bring a lot of fortune. Apart from that, another reason he had a mistress was because his first wife was considered stubborn and arrogant.

Since then, he has had steady relationships with mistresses, without divorcing his first wife. The story of this mistress was told directly by Oei's daughter from his first wife, Oe Hui Lan, in a memoir Oei Hui Lan: The Story of the Sugar King's Daughter from Semarang.

The child said, Oei had many mistresses who he dated without status. It is not known how many, but of these mistresses, he had one child every year.

“Which girl doesn't fall in love with Dad's good looks and position? All the girls are trying to attract Dad's attention,” asked Oei Hui Lan.

It was not uncommon for these concubines to ask for a promotion in status. They want to become Oei's official wives. As a result, Oei complied with the request. It was recorded that there were 7 concubines who rose to the status of wives, without ever divorcing each other.

So, in total during his life he had 8 wives and 26 children. However, said Oei Hui Lan, the number of children is estimated to be more than that. Because, he counted 42 half-siblings and maybe more than that considering his father had relationships with many women.

Interestingly, Oei Tiong Ham is fair to all his partners and children.

“Even though his wives have left him (no longer live together), Oei Tiong Ham still carries out his obligations in supporting all his wife's living expenses,” wrote Benny G. Setiono.

Unmitigated, Oei made all his wives and children happy with luxury. His wives live in several areas, starting from London, Singapore, China and Semarang. In fact, families in London can mingle with the British royal family.

Meanwhile, their children are given school fees up to the highest level. Oei Hui Lan herself went to school in London and when she grew up she became the first lady of China.

Then, regarding inheritance, it is known that Oei gave his 26 children an inheritance of 400,000 guilders or the equivalent of tens of billions of rupiah not long after he died on July 6 1924.

On this basis, Oei Tiong Ham deserves to be called the sugar daddy of the colonial era. Not only because he has many women, but also because he is actually involved in the sugar industry as a successful businessman.

[Gambas:Video CNBC]

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