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, Resorts World Genting (formerly known as 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 and the making of a successful and growing conglomerate – the Genting Group.

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Looking Back with Pride

The idea of a hill resort came upon Genting founder, Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong in 1963 when he was in Cameron Highlands working on a hydro-electric power project and experiencing the crisp cool mountain air. He envisioned a prosperous Malaysia of the future, desiring a cool mountain holiday resort within the reach of all Malaysians.

The Challenges

In his autobiography, ‘My Story’, Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong recounted the story of an arduous journey he took with engineers and surveyors in 1963 to map the topography of the area now home to Resorts World Genting, the flagship highland resort of the Genting Group. “Along the way,” he wrote, “we struggled through dense jungles, climbed over many steep mountains and crossed numerous streams and rivers before reaching the summit.” But the entrepreneur was in high spirits, awestruck by the pristine beauty of the mountain and its bracingly cold climate. He worked tirelessly, recording every relevant detail. “I had fallen head over heels in love with this virgin wilderness and vowed to transform it into my dream resort”.

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 might seem impossible, but not for Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong.

The Access Road

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 took 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’s company, Kien Huat Berhad, towards the making of this “dream resort”. That dream has long since become a reality. It has also given birth to a corporation that has played a major role in Malaysia’s economic development.

The First Hotel

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 first hotel, marking the completion of the access road to the mountain top.

The Prime Minister was very 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 was successfully completed and was then named Highlands Hotel (later renamed as Theme Park Hotel).

The Development

Since the opening of its first hotel in 1971, Genting Highlands Resort (rebranded as Resorts World Genting in 2009) has progressively grown from strength to strength. In 1981, the 18-storey Genting Hotel (now known as Genting Grand), the flagship hotel of the resort was opened. This was followed by Awana Genting Highlands Golf & Country Resort (now known as Awana Hotel) in 1984, Resort Hotel and Genting Indoor Theme Park in 1992, Outdoor Themepark in 1994, Highlands Hotel and Genting Skyway cable car system in 1997.

Genting Skyway, a 3.38-km cable-car ride to the hilltop was recognised as the “World’s Fastest Mono Cable Car System” with a maximum speed of 21.6 km per hour and the “Longest Cable Car in Malaysia and Southeast Asia”.

The First World Complex comprising First World Hotel, First World Plaza, indoor theme park and Genting International Convention Centre, was officially launched in 2002.

The continuous enhancements since 1971 have enabled Resorts World Genting to be the premier holiday destination in the region while ensuring that the natural beauty of its rainforest surroundings is maintained. Resorts World Genting has grown from one single hotel with 200 rooms in 1971 to five hotels with over 10,000 hotel rooms (namely Genting Grand, Maxims/Crockfords, Resort Hotel, First World Hotel and Awana Hotel), providing a myriad of world-class entertainment facilities, ranging from indoor and outdoor theme parks, gaming facilities, concert venues, hotel accommodations, food and beverages, and many more attractions– a “city of entertainment”, at 2,000 metres above sea level.

The Expansion

From the resort activities in Genting Highlands, the Genting Group, guided by the late Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong and his successor Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, have diversified from its initial hotel and resort activities to plantations (since 1980), cruise operations (since 1993), power generation and oil & gas exploration activities (since 1996) and biotechnology research activities (since 2006).

Today, Genting Berhad is a leading multinational corporation in Malaysia that has constantly been acknowledged by various organisations for its exemplary leadership and management. The recognitions include being acknowledged as the No.1 in Malaysia for Best Managed Public Companies 2015 by Finance Asia, and No.1 in Malaysia and No.2 in Asia for Overall Best Managed Company for the Decade by Asiamoney.

The Passing Of A Great Man

In December 2003, Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong retired and handed over the chairmanship of the Genting Group of companies to his son, Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay.

Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong passed away peacefully on 23 October 2007 at the age of 89 and was laid to rest at Gohtong Memorial Park on 29 October 2007.

“Once the goals have been clearly defined, with determination and hard work, one can achieve one’s goals.”


– Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong,


The Journey Continues…

Under the leadership of Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, the Group continues to expand its global presence. In 2006, he led the Genting Group to bid and was successfully awarded the Sentosa integrated resort project by the Government of Singapore. Resorts World Sentosa broke ground in 2007 and was officially opened in 2010. This was followed by the opening of Resorts World Casino New York City, USA (2011), Resorts World Bimini, Bahamas (2013) and Resorts World Birmingham, UK (2015). Resorts World Las Vegas broke ground in 2015 and is targeted to complete in 2021.

Resorts World Genting has embarked on the multi-billion ringgit Genting Integrated Tourism Plan in 2013 to progressively transform the resort over the next 10 years with the latest state-of-the-art and world-class attractions, including Sky Avenue – a new and trendy shopping mall, a new cable car system, and many more new attractions.

Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay has also expanded the global presence of the Genting leisure brand, through Genting Hong Kong, which owns and operates Star Cruises – the leading cruise line in Asia Pacific since (1993), Dream Cruises – the first ever Asian luxury cruise line launched in 2016), Crystal Cruises – the world’s most awarded luxury cruise line acquired in (2015), German shipyard, Lloyd Werft acquired in (2015) and associate Resorts World Manila launched in 2009).

Through his stewardship, Genting Plantations ventured into oil palm plantations in Indonesia, namely in West Kalimantan (2005) and in Central Kalimantan (2008). Genting Energy acquired power plants in Fujian and Jiangsu provinces in China (2005), the Jangi Wind Farm in India (2011) and began the construction of the Banten power plant in Java, Indonesia (2013). The Banten power plant began commercial operations in the first quarter of 2017. Genting Oil & Gas discovered gas in the Kasuri Production Sharing Contract in West Papua, Indonesia (2012) and acquired a working interest in the Petroleum Contract at Chengdaoxi Block, China 2014).

“Moving forward, we will continue to grow and forge ahead, against all odds to achieve the next chapter of growth and success.”


– Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay,
Chairman & Chief Executive

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