Death of a Giant

lim-goh-tong.jpgBloomberg pix by Goh Seng Chong. 

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.


4 thoughts on “Death of a Giant

  1. Many years ago, I met one old CHinese men at a stockbroking firm. There was a big buzz then of Genting and their Star Cruise venture. I asked if he bought any Gentign shares. He said, “I will not one to make a fortune out of people’s misery.”

    Think about how the many misery by family of gamblers at Genting. In fact, I met once a Chinese women taxi driver that spoke emaculate English and quite articulate. Asked her, why a woman like you driving a taxi. Answer: My ex husband had a fascination with Genting and he lost everything.

    Honestly, nothing great about this man.

  2. I was just waiting for u, Mr Wrong. I knew u’d say something. If you wanna look at it that way, lots of people are making money out of other people’s misery. And btw, Genting is taxed too and that contributes to national income.

    Whatever said abt the man, he belonged to a breed of pioneers who had the guts to do something so one did then. That makes him something in my eyes. That those fools chose to go gamble their life away…is again their fault. Greed brought them to the pits.

    I can gamble. But I don’t. Neither do millions of other Malaysians. Those who suffered had a choice, didn’t they? There are many who won…n those ppl keep quiet laa.

    Anyway…hope to c u tomorrow…

  3. True,true..this goh tong is king of casino, king of gambling..and made his fortune of other chinese and indian gamblers misery and gangsters who frequent Genting…

    Nothing great about him but he is the biggest gambler gangster in malaysia..legallised…

    Society must call a scum a scum not by the amount of money he makes. Of course he laundered the gambling money to other legitimate business thro Hanif Omar.. hmmm

    Will Hanif Omar be buried side by side with his gambler friend? He look so lost and sad….

    But Genting will never make it into the
    syariah compliant index Hanif…not in a million years…

    so I guess that Goh tong will serve his time in hell…


    Ah…man, I’m not moralising at this juncture. Look at the flip side. He’s a declared profiteer of gaming business. But who put Haniff Omar there? Lim? I doubt it. Also, There are a lot of undeclared scum going around these days. They even work in Tabung Haji and siphon money belonging to pilgrims. This is reported fact.

    Syariah compliant? Heheh…Your Pantai Hospital Syariah-compliant? What about the vegetables you buy at the market?
    Maybe Goh Tong will serve his time in hell. Maybe I would. I suppose many sanctimonious people currently gathered in KL to discuss useless rhetorics, would. Who knows, maybe even Hanif Omar….but then again, whether they serve time in hell, that’s between them and God.

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