LIM GOH TONG
If you think about or you went to Genting Highland,in your mind you would think was Lim Goh Tong. He is the one who build up the hill and name it as Genting Highland. I was very excited when I made an interview with him and he agree even he was busy with his work.
At about 9.00 pm in the morning at his office at Wisma Genting,Kuala Lumpur I arrive.10 min I wait for him, he arrive. With his black suit and red tie he welcomes me with his smile. I am so nervous and at the same time very exited to interviewing him. This is the story about Lim Goh Tong….
Lim Goh Tong was born in 1918 in Anxi,a mountainous country in southeastern Fujian province, China. His father,Lim Shi Quan was an upright man, loved and respected by everyone. And his mother,Goh Ban is not from rich family. But she always had the cardinal principles of life in mind and excelled in her role as a virtuous wife and a good mother. Lim Goh Tong is the fifth of his family. He have an elder brother, three elder sister and a younger sister.
He starts studying the Chinese classic at the age of six under his father’s tutelage. When he not studying he used to help his father hawking vegetable seed, tea leaves and other goods by roadside. At the age of 16, his father passed away. He was forced to leave school as the oldest son; he had to take over the heavy burden of feeding seven mouths in his family.
In 1937, the year the Japanese staged the Lugouqiao incident and launched their all out war of aggression on China, he set off for Malaya with small suitcase and 175 dollars. He works with his uncle in Malaya at about 2 years and his first job was building a two-storey school at Cheras.
Now, it’s about love at first sight. He is deeply gratified to have 6 children and 19 grandchildren now. The story of his family start with meeting his wife Lee Kim Hua. He meets Kim Hua for the first time at Jalan Pudu. After 3 mounth they get married.
In the letter part of 1963, he began putting in application to the Pahang State Government for the land at Genting Sempah for development of a tourist resort. After going through it, the Tunku commended and give him the green light to start the project. On 27 April 1965, he and Tan Sri Haji Mohd Noah incorporated, they applied to the Pahang and Selangor State Government for 4,940 hectares and 1,110 hectares of freehold land respectively.
On 8 august 1965, he led a team of technicians and workers to begin work. Simultaneously, we were working on the blueprint for the development of Genting Highlands, including the network of roads, hotels, entertainment centers and a goft course. He also had a target to complete it. After 3 years the road are complete. Finally, Genting opened its door for business on 8 May 1971.It was a dream come true.
There are a lot of businesses at the Genting Highlands. For example, first world hotel and plaza, awana hotel, entertainment, casino and many more. Not only in Genting,there are more business that Lim Goh Tong have. The Genting Sanyen Power Plant and Sanyen Paper Plant in Kuala Langat, Asiatic’s Palm oil Refinery in Sri Tanjung, Sabah and more. In 1997, Lim Goh Tong yet another proud moment with the 1996-1997 Tourism Special Award from Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism. He also get the award for Malaysian Entrepreneurs Award 1985, Manager of the year 1986, Business Achiever of the year Award 1994, Number 1 ranking of 10 malaysian leading companies 1996 and the best employer award 1996.
In the long years of struggle to build Genting Highlands to what it is today, he has had many close brushed with death. Some were due accidents and others were health related. He says he fortunate to have been blessed with strong physique and good health for a good part of his life.
His second son Kok Thay established a casino, a marina and three hotels in Bahamas and Australia as well. For the future, Kok Thay’s success in propelling Star
Cruises to the forefront of the cruise industry have further strengthened my confident in him. On 27 November 2002, he succeeded me as President & Chief Executive of Genting Berhad and resort World Bhd.
In 31 December, he hands over the chairmanship of the Genting Group of companies, completing passing the baton. He happy to leave he’s life work to continued by his son, a competent, astute entrepreneur with his style of his own. He has no doubt he will prove himself my worthy successor.
Lastly, he thinks he really blessed. In the light of my health crises in the past, I never expected to live long enough to witness the latest leadership transition in the country and have the privilege of working with five prime minister. He grateful and happy to live peaceful, harmonious country made possible by unity among the races and a stable government with enlightened leadership. Thanks to my wife, family and all that support me from down till now, he said.
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