“Once the goals have been clearly defined, with the greatest amount of determination and hard work, one can conclusively realize one’s goals.”
– Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong, Founder
When the word Genting is heard the peoples ears, Malaysians will immediately recognize it as the Genting Highlands Resort. The idea of this wonderful hill resort was chanced upon the Late Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong while he was enjoying the cool soothing breeze of Cameron Highlands.
After making his decisions, he formed an expedition to Mountain Ulu Kali at a place called Genting Sempah along with his working crews to explore and collected some data on topography, drainage, soil conditions, and other kinds of relevant aspects to find an ideal spot for developing this resort.
While planning this idea, many people started to to deceive his plans by saying that he wanted to turn this land of wilderness into a tourism resort and the plan was risky. However, Lim Goh Tong was financially comfortable to invest this idea with an anormous amont of money and started to brush of these negative comments. Then, he firmly went ahead and start with his plan.
After getting approvals from the Federal and State governments, Lim Goh Tong started to face some problems about building the access road towards the hilltop, water and electricity supplies, sewerage system and fire safety. Fortunately, Lim Goh tong was a bright man and still managed to build the access road towards the entrance of the resort in three years only when it was estimated to take 15 years. The water supply was then later identified and it is not secured with several built water-collection stations and water filtration plants with treated water stored in reservoirs.
During the construction of Genting Highlands, Lim Goh Tong a few close brushes to death. Other than that, he also went over the physical endurance limit as he has to shuttle between Kuala Lumpur and Kelantan for seven days straight each week.
Lim Goh Tong spent all the money he had without earning any income during the construction progress of Genting. Moreover, he had no choice but to sell an 810-hectare rubber estate to raise approximately RM 2.5 million. Additionally, he invested all the money he had made from his previous careers which are his iron mining, sub-contracting and hardware businesses. While investing this project, all of Lim Goh Tong’s friends turn him down by giving up the entire scheme instead.
Fortunately, his planned worked out and Genting was granted the one and only first casino licence in Malaysia after the prime minister of Malaysia – Tunku Abdul Rahman. The prime minister visited Genting Highlands and commended Lim Goh Tong’s effort to develop a resort by contributing to Malaysia’s tourism industry without any single government help.
In January 1971, the entire Genting project is successfully completed. However, the roads of the surrounding areas were hit by the worst rainstorms in a century. The way to Genting was temporary closed due to the landslides at 180 locations which highly the damaged sections. This process took four months to repair. After a few months, Genting is reborned and opened its door for business on 8 May 1971.
Lim Goh Tong never stopped to develop and expand Genting Highlands beyond its original idea of a hotel with basic tourist facilities for the next 30 years. The additional expansion projects were the construction of more hotels, indoor and outdoor theme parks, and a even convention centre.
A shorter road to Genting HIghlands was then built from the northern states and also a 10 KM horizontal stretch to reduce congestion which costed around RM 920 million. Later on he spent about RM 928 million to construct a cable car station to provide a new alternative for tourists to visit.
At the suggestion of Dr. Tun Mahathir, who was the prime minister of Malaysia then, made a township that was developed on an 81-hectare piece of land around the site of the Genting Skyway cable car station. That place was named Gohtong Jaya after Lim Goh Tong as a remembrance for his efforts .of developing Genting Highlands and increasing the tourism level.
Until now, Genting highland is known as the most successful Casino resorts and also a primary tourist attraction in Malaysia. Lim Goh Tong’s business – the Genting Group now also operates many diversified industries such as plantations, property, paper, power generation, oil and gas exploration and cruise boat industries.
On the 31st of December (2003), Lim Goh Tong inherited his chairmanship of the Genting Group over to his son Lim Kok Thay.
Lim Goh Tong occurred some near- death experiences when the Japanese invaded Malaya in 1942. During the early Japanese occupation, he had some jobs to earn a living. For example, he worked as a vegetable farmer and further on switched his job to become a petty trader for a higher income. Then, he ventured into scrap-metal and hardware trading’s.
When the Japanese Occupation ended, the demands of heavy machineries are high in mine working and rubber plantations. Lim Goh Tong quickly took a chance and started a second-hand machinery trading business which made his first fortune.
After machinery trading, Lim Goh Tong joined as a partner in an iron mining company which had an outstanding payment of 2 bulldozers which proved to be a successful venture. Later, he formed the first Chinese tin companies to utilize dredges.
Lim Goh Tong gathered many recondition machineries as well as a generous amount of money to move into construction related industries. His family construction company− Kien Huat Private Limited, took several contracting jobs for building the Ayer Itam Dam and the Kemubu Irrigation Scheme.
This is the Ayer Itam Dam constructed by Lim Goh Tong’s family construction family.