Lim Goh Tong, 90; entrepreneur built Malaysia’s only casino

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Lim Goh Tong, 90, Malaysia’s third-richest man, who turned a forested hilltop into a thriving casino resort, died in his sleep Oct. 23 at the private Subang Jaya Medical Center near Kuala Lumpur, leaving behind a diverse business empire worth $22 billion.

Genting Highlands opened in 1971 and flourished into a Las Vegas-style resort that attracted 18.5 million visitors in 2006. It is the country’s only casino and includes five hotels and a theme park.

Forbes magazine listed Lim among the world’s top 250 billionaires in 2006, with a personal net worth of $4.3 billion.

Lim, who was from China, made his first fortune by trading in secondhand heavy machinery in the 1940s after the end of Japanese occupation and later ventured into mining.


His company, the Genting Group, diversified into plantations, properties, paper manufacturing, power generation, oil and gas. The group comprises five listed companies with a combined total market capitalization of more than $22 billion, according to the company’s website.