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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.

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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.


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