PETALING JAYA: A well thought out succession plan that the late Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong had put in place has ensured that his huge business empire will continue.
Lim passed the baton to his second son Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay in December 2003 to head the Gen-ting Group, which is involved in gaming, power generation, plantations and oil and gas.
Better known as KT Lim, the 55-year-old tycoon seems to have inherited his father’s ability to seize and exploit fleeting opportunities, based on the group’s swift expansion abroad in recent years.
Assisting Kok Thay in the global push is his nephew, Justin Leong, 28, who is the head of strategic investments.
In his 2003 autobiography, My Story, Lim wrote said this about Kok Thay: “I have no doubt he will prove himself my worthy successor.”
The new leadership transformed the group, once attributed to “Ma-laysia’s sole casino owner,” into an international gaming group.
Besides owning the Genting Highlands resort, the group has been awarded Singapore’s Sentosa Integrated Resorts (IR) project. It is also venturing into Macau.
“Today we are mourning the passing of one of Malaysia’s greatest entrepreneurs and visionaries,” Leong, the only grandchild who is involved in the family business, told The Star.
Yesterday, Genting dropped 10 sen to RM7.55 , while both Resorts World and Asiatic Development were unchanged at RM3.74 and RM5.95 respectively.
However, the little movements on the share prices of the listed entities – Genting Bhd, Resorts World Bhd, Asiatic Development Bhd and Genting International Plc – reflected the investing public’s continued confidence in the group.
Singapore-listed Genting Inter-national inched up one cent to 68.5 cents.
Born on Feb 28,1918 in the Anxi district of Fujian Province, China, Lim worked as a carpenter with his uncle upon his arrival here, sold sundries and started a scrap metal business.
He set up Kien Huat Construc-tion in 1950, which remains his flagship private entity.
It was while working on a dam in Cameron Highlands in 1964 that he saw the possibility of developing a hill resort near to Kuala Lumpur.
By the age of 50, he had staked all his hard-earned money from iron mining, sub-contracting and hardware trading into realising his dream to build his hilltop holiday resort.
To share his dream, Lim invited a group of friends to be shareholders and directors of Genting.
“I asked them to invest RM1mil in return for a 10% stake in Gen-ting, which had a paid-up capital that was more than RM10mil. But none of them showed any interest,” wrote Lim in his autobiography.
In 1968, he founded Genting Bhd, which was granted the only casino licence by the Federal Government.
His leadership propelled Gen-ting to emerge as a blue chip on the stock market, diversifying into plantations, paper, oil and gas and power.
The company also transferred its gambling and resort related operations to its subsidiary, Resorts World Bhd, which remained cash rich even during the crippling 1997/98 Asian financial crisis.
He also acquired Star Cruises, offering casino gaming activities on board a fleet of cruise ships.
In the late 1990s, his children gradually took over the operations of the Genting Group due to his poor health.
Leong said his grandfather had always believed in the values of hardwork, humility, integrity and honesty.
“These are universal value we should all try to live by,” he added.
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