The Genting Story
When it comes to the Genting story, most Malaysians will recognise it as synonymous with the rise of its namesake hill resort,Genting Highlands Resort. Many though may not have truly appreciated the mammoth task involved in its construction and the vast resources and reserves mobilised to ensure what has proven today to be an unprecedented success in resort development.
Looking Back with Pride
The idea of a hill resort was chanced upon by Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong amidst the crisp air of Cameron Highlands in 1964. Tan Sri Lim was then working on a hydro-electric power project at the popular hill resort, patronised mostly by British colonials seeking cool refuge from the tropical heat, when he foresaw a prosperous Malaysia of the future desiring a cool mountain holiday resort within the reach of all Malaysians.
A study of the maps and Kuala Lumpur’s vicinity located the ideal site – the 1,800-metre Gunung Ulu Kali, just 58 km from Kuala Lumpur. Amidst the dense virgin tropical jungle and rugged terrain, the task to transform a remote mountain into Malaysia’s premier holiday destination seemed impossible… but not for Tan Sri Lim.
The Mammoth Task Begins
Setting up a private company called Genting Highlands Berhad on 27 April 1965, with the late Tan Sri Haji Mohammed Noah bin Omar, Tan Sri Lim successfully obtained approval for the alienation of 12,000 acres and 2,800 acres of land from the Pahang and Selangor State Government respectively between the years 1965 and 1970.
On 18 August 1965, a technical and construction team began the herculean task that would take four years to complete the access road from Genting Sempah to the peak of Gunung Ulu Kali.
To ensure the sound and prompt construction of the hotel-cum-resort, Tan Sri Lim devoted all of his time, capital and resources, including the reserves of his family company, Kien Huat Berhad towards the making of this “dream resort”.
On 31 March 1969, the late YTM Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia’s first Prime Minister graced the official laying of the foundation stone for the company’s pioneer hotel, the then Highlands Hotel, marking the completion of the access road to Genting Highlands Resort.
Impressed that the private sector, without the assistance of the Government, could develop a mountain resort for the enjoyment of all Malaysians, a gaming licence was suggested to help accelerate the development of this remote area.
In 1971, the first hotel at Genting Highlands was successfully completed and was then named Highlands Hotel (now renamed Theme Park Hotel).
The Expansion – Genting Group
Genting Group, founded by Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong and with Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay as its Chairman, President and Chief Executive has since expanded and diversified from its initial hotel and resort activities to plantations, properties, paper manufacturing, power generation, oil and gas, electronic commerce and information technology development under Genting Group. Genting Berhad is now a leading multinational corporation in Malaysia. The Group has constantly been acknowledged by various organisations for its exemplary leadership and management. Genting Berhad was acknowledged as the No.1 Leading Company in Malaysia for 10 years, ie in 2004 and for 9 consecutive years (1994 – 2002) by The Asian Wall Street Journal 200 (formerly Far Eastern Economic Review 200). Genting Berhad was also rated No.1 in Malaysia and No.2 in Asia for Overall Best Managed Company for the Decade by Asiamoney.