On February 28 in the year 1918, one of the richest overseas Chinese tycoons in Southeast Asia was born in Fujian, China. His name was Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong, the founder of the Malaysia-based Genting Group.
Lim arrived penniless in Malaysia during the late 1930s. He joined his uncle’s construction company which depended mainly on government contracts. After the war, he traded on surplus construction materials and equipment and made lots of money allowing him to set up his own construction company. Later, he diversified into mining and real estate.
With government support, he started building the 4,900-hectare Genting Highland Resort in 1965. Located at an elevation of 1,740 meters (5,710 ft) in a mountainous region just outside of Kuala Lumpur, the project became the flagship company of what evolved to be the Genting Group. Opened in 1971, the complex consists of gambling halls, 4,000 hotel rooms, an amusement park, shopping areas, and mono-cable gondola lift. Since then, millions of tourists flocked to see the attractions, enjoy the amenities and of course, gamble.
Subsequently, Lim expanded his business empire to include leisure businesses, power, oil and gas, property and plantations. He also set up subsidiaries in many other countries. In 1993, he founded the Star Cruises in Hong Kong. It now dominates the Asia-Pacific market and one of the world’s largest.
Lim died in 2007 at the age of 89. He had six children with his wife Lee Kim Hua. At the time of his death, his net worth was estimated at $4.2 billion. He designated his second son Lim Khok Thay as the leader to succeed him.