"A lot of people thought this guy was crazy, but..." Genting by hassan_abu

Genting Travel Guide: 348 reviews and 968 photos

This casino tycoon in Malaysia, Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong is listed as the 204th richest person in the billionaire list compiled by Forbes.

He is well knowned for his vision and courage in transforming Genting Highlands from an unexplored hilltop to one of the world's most successful casino resort.

It all started when he was having a dinner in Cameron Highlands, in Pahang, Malaysia. As he was enjoying the soothing cool breeze of Cameron Highlands, he struck upon an idea that as the tandard 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 a place called Genting Sempah to be an ideal location for his plan. Upon conceiving this idea, many naysayers were skeptical of Lim turning a wilderness into a tourist resort. Most thought it was really risky and reckoned Lim who was financially comfortable to be foolish to invest heavily in money and time to develop Genting, but Lim brushed off all these negativities and went ahead firmly with his plan.

During the Genting project, Lim spent all he had without earning any income. He sold an 810-hectare rubber estate to raise RM2.5 million. In addition, he invested all the money he had made from iron mining, sub-contracting and hardware business. The project was a heavy drain on Lim's finances. When asked to invest in this project, Lim's friends turned him down and counselled him to drop the entire scheme instead.

Genting was granted the only casino licence after Tunku Abdul Rahman, the prime minister of Malaysia then, visited Genting Highlands and commended Lim's effort to develop a resort contributing to Malaysia's tourism industry without government help.

The whole Genting project was completed in January 1971, but prior to officially commencing business, Kuala Lumpur and its surrounding areas were hit by the worst rainstorms in a century, the road to Genting was closed by landslides at 180 locations, the damaged sections took four months to repair. Genting opened its door for business on 8 May 1971.

In the next 30 years, Lim continued to develop and expand Genting Highlands beyond its original idea of a hotel with basic tourist facilities. Among the projects were the construction of more hotels, indoor and outdoor theme parks, and a convention centre. A new road was built to shorten the journey to Genting from the northen states, and RM120 million was invested to widen a 10km stretch of the access road to reduce congestion. Another RM128 million was spent on constructing a cable car system to provide visitors with an alternative mode of transportation.

Now, here in 2007, I have come to explore the wonders of the so called City of Entertainment.

Hope you enjoyed reading this intro, while I slowly upload the pics in the coming pages.

  • Last visit to Genting: Apr 2007
  • Intro Updated Apr 8, 2007
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