Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong, the Genting Group supremo, passed away today at the grand old age of 90 at the Subang Jaya Medical Centre today. Lim is survived by wife Lim Hua Kee as well as six children and grandchildren.
A long, event-filled life for this Genting patriarch who, back in the 60s, braved the tough Equatorial jungle to build a mountain-top casino, founding what is today a USD22 billion diversified empire of gaming, leisure and commercial concerns. Many people thought him a madman then, but he laughed all the way to the bank (with your money and mine!).
International Herald Tribune has more on one of the pioneers of Malaysia’s commercial growth here . Certainly this he ralds the ending of an era where stalwart businessmen took on challenges that eventually built Malaysia’s economy.
Following the news of his death, shares of Genting Berhad fell 1.3 percent to 7.55 ringgit while its affiliate, Resorts World and plantations arm Asiatic Development, were both flat at 3.74 ringgit.
More news from The Edge.
Excerpts from AP report.
Lim, a migrant from China, battled against the odds to build Genting Highlands, a casino hotel resort that opened in 1971 and flourished into a Las Vegas-style resort. It is the country’s only casino and includes five hotels and a theme park.Forbes magazine listed Lim among the world’s top 250 billionaires in 2006 and the third richest person in Malaysia with a personal net worth of US$4.3 billion (?3.04 billion).
Born in Anxi in Fujian province, Lim was the fifth child among seven siblings who migrated to Malaya _ as Malaysia was then known _ in 1937 at the age of 19 with only a suitcase and US$175 in his pocket.
He made his first fortune by trading in second-hand heavy machinery in the 1940s after the end of Japanese occupation, and later ventured into mining.
While working on a hydroelectric power project in 1964 in Cameron Highlands, a popular hill resort patronized mostly by British colonials at the time, Lim dreamt of building a similar hill resort nearer to the country’s biggest city, Kuala Lumpur, as a getaway for local residents.
He found the remote 5,900-feet (1,800-meter) Ulu Kali mountain, just about an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur. In 1965, he set up the Genting Group to transform the dense virgin tropical jungle into one of Malaysia’s top holiday destinations that attracted 18.5 million visitors in 2006.
R.I.P Mr Goh.