BIBLIOGRAPHY OF A BUSINESSMAN
Tan Sri Dato Dr. Lim Goh Tong was a prominent wealthy Malaysian Chinese businessman. He was renowned for his vision and courage in transforming Genting Highlands from an unexplored hilltop into one of the world's most successful casino resorts. He was once the richest man in Malaysia, Asia with net worth US$4.2billion. He was born in the year of 1918 in Anxi, a mountainous county in southeastern Fujian province, China. Lim Goh Tong was the fifth child in his family. His father was Lim Shi Quan and his mother Goh Ban. He had an elder brother by the name of Jing Ya, three elder sisters who were Lim Zhuang, Lim Bau and Lim See, a younger sister, Lim Mei and a younger brother, Jing Kun. Lim Goh Tong was married to Lee Kim Hua. Together they had six children and nineteen grandchildren. The six children are Lim Siew Lay, Siew Lian, Siew Kim, Tee Keong, Kok Thay and Chee Wah.
Lim was born into a rustic environment in a village. During that time, China was in a period of turmoil and unrest after the 1911 revolution, but life was relatively sheltered for Lim in the village. He grew up peacefully and had the opportunity of studying in school. However, disaster struck as his father died when he was only sixteen years old. Lim was forced to leave school and he and his elder brother had to take over the heavy burden of feeding his family. As China's situation was becoming worse, Lim Goh Tong decided to take the plunge in venturing out to Malaysia which was known as Malaya at that time by following his cousin, Lim Kheng Chong's footstep. He left China through Xiamen in early February 1937 at the age of nineteen. He worked for his uncle as a carpenter in the first two years, learning the Malay language in the meantime. The Japanese invaded Malaya in 1942 and caused Lim to have a few near-death experiences. During the early Japanese Occupation, he earned a living as a vegetable farmer but decided to switch to petty trading for a better living. Later on, Lim ventured into scrap-metal and hardware trading. When the Japanese Occupation ended, there was an urgent demand for heavy machinery for resumed operations in mines and rubber plantations. Lim seized the opportunity and engaged in second-hand machinery trading, making his first fortune. From used machinery trading, Lim strayed into iron mining, joining as a partner in an iron mining company which could not settle the outstanding payment of two bulldozers with him.
This proved to be a successful venture and he later went on to form a joint-venture company which was one of the first Chinese tin companies to utilize dredges. While dealing in heavy machinery, Lim accumulated a wide range of reconditioned machines as well as a substantial amount of cash to move into construction and related industries. In the name of his family construction company, Kien Huat Private Limited, Lim began taking on several contracting jobs with help and guidance from his uncles. Kien Huat won accolades and became recognized as one of the leading construction companies, building the Ayer Itam Dam and the Kemubu Irrigation Scheme.
The idea of building a hilltop resort was first conceived when Lim Goh Tong was having a dinner in the Cameron Highlands. As he was enjoying the soothing cool breeze of the Cameron Highlands, an idea struck him that as the standard of living rose steadily in Malaysia, more and more people would visit mountain resorts for relaxation and recreation but Cameron Highlands was too far away from the capital city Kuala Lumpur. Therefore, building a mountain resort nearer to Kuala Lumpur would have great business potential. After doing some research, Lim found that Gunung Ulu Kali at a place called Genting Sempah was to be an ideal location for his plan. He formed an expedition and explored the place, collecting a wealth of data on the topography, drainage, soil conditions and other relevant aspects of the region....