99 Speedmart's Lee Thiam Wah is refurbishing and rebranding Burger King restaurants

July 14, 2022


When you are struck with polio at a tender age, you think it's all over for you. No chance to make it in life. Wrong.

Lee Thiam Wah had a loving grandma who took care of him at home while his siblings went to school. The words she said to him stuck in his mind - "you are only cacat physically and not mentally." She told him to be independent and earn a living like everyone else.

So the boy set up a table outside his house and sold snacks to passers by. Neighbors bought from him and he soon learned what they liked to eat and what they want. Years of plying this simple trade taught him about what consumers need and the importance of convenience. With his savings over the years, he opened his first small Pasar Mini 99 in Klang Utama in his early 20s. His customers followed him. The early success led him to expand his business and he became known as the Mini-Market King of Klang. He rebranded his business at the turn of the century.

Lee won the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award in 2014 for outstanding performance and perseverance in developing a successful business. Well deserved and most inspiring to all!

Why 99 Speedmart? Lee said perfection is not possible so striving for 99% service standard is good enough. 99 Speedmart has 10 Distribution centres spread across Malaysia and stores exceed 1700. Expansion continues unabated. 

Burger King Franchise

Burger King has a long history in this country which has seen changes in franchisees. It ended up in 2011 with government-linked private equity fund management company, Ekuiti Nasional Bhd (Ekuinas). Then in August 2015 Ekuinas divested its franchisee rights to Burger King Malaysia & Singapore to Newscape Capital Sdn Bhd (Newscape) a company controlled by Lee for RM74.6 million. It must be Lee's dream to walk into his own burger chain to enjoy his favorite Burger King WHOPPER done exactly the way he likes it! Lee spent money to set up new outlets, refurbish existing ones and since the new logo for Burger King was released in 2021, the franchised restaurants are being rebranded to reflect Burger King's new international identity as a more modern and digital friendly brand personality. It is Burger King's first complete rebrand in 20 years. 

In 2020 Burger King opened its 100th restaurant here and 50 more are being rolled out. 

Radiant Global Tech Berhad

On 3rd November 2021 Lee Thiam Wah acquired a 15% stake in ACE market listed Radiant Globaltech Berhad (RGTech)via his company Global Success Network Sdn. Bhd. RGTech is an integrated technology solutions provider in SE Asia with specialising in the digitalisation of retail/industrial businesses. 99 Speed Mart is one of RGTech's clients and some other major retail chains are also using it's services. 

99 Speed Mart has done well during the pandemic as Malaysians shopped more in neighbourhood stores for their groceries to avoid crowds in supermarkets and wet markets. 



  1. Radiant Global Tech Berhad. 3 November 2021. Notification of Change in Substantial Shareholders. https://klse.i3investor.com/web/stock/substantial-shareholder/0202
  2. Vulcan Post. 29 April 2021. Jocelyn Tan. https://vulcanpost.com/744309/99-speedmart-history-founder-lee-thiam-wah/
  3. Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards. 99 Speedmart Sdn Bhd. https://enterpriseasia.org/apea/malaysia/awards/my-2014/lee-thiam-wah/
  4. 99 Speedmart. About us. http://www.99speedmart.com.my/About/History
  5. EY Entrepreneur of the Year. 2015 Top Nominees. Lee Thiam Wah 99 Speedmart. https://www.ey.com/en_my/entrepreneur-of-the-year/ey-entrepreneur-of-the-year-malaysia/past-top-nominees/2015-top-nominees/lee-thiam-wah
  6. Forbes. 5 March 2010. Malaysia's King of Mini Marts. https://www.forbes.com/global/2010/0315/entrepreneurs-malaysia-speedsmart-handicaps-king-of-mini-marts.html?
  7. The Edge Malaysia. 13 May 2021. Vasantha Ganesan. https://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/cover-story-99-speedmart-and-kk-super-mart-hasten-expansion
  8. New Straits Times. 20 January 2020. https://www.nst.com.my/business/2020/01/558104/rm65mil-50-new-burger-king-stores-two-years
  9. Digital Edge Weekly. 11 September 2015 Kamarul Azahar. https://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/99-speedmart-founder-buys-ekuinas%E2%80%99-burger-king