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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

In Memoriam: Lim Goh Tong (1918 - 2007)

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Say and think what you want, but this man's achievement is a testament to the adage, "If there's a will, there's a way".

Image taken from China Today, hosting by PhotobucketLim Goh Tong, best known for turning an unexplored hilltop into one of Malaysia's best known tourist destinations, passed away peacefully yesterday morning. News reports state that he was 90 (more like between 89 and 90).

Walski's first ever visit to Genting Highlands was way, way back in 1975 - which, if he remembers correctly, was part of a school outing. Even then, Genting was more than just a gambler's den, and although you couldn't find the massive theme park sprawled across the resort, just simple lake and boating activities, you could tell that it was destined for something bigger. Folks were just easier to please back then, Walski reckons.

And something bigger is what it did indeed become. Thanks to the vision of one man. Granted, Lim had already made his fortune by then, but what he started in 1965 now stands as a legacy to his hard work, preseverance and unfettered vision.
(Lim's successes lauded, and more, in the full post)

In the article announcing his demise, Lim's second son was quoted to have lauded his father's work ethic, stating his father often reminded him that "there were no shortcuts to success".

Wise words, perhaps, for the generation of today, driven, by and large, by the culture of instant gratification. Fast food, fast bucks, and fast success...

Image hosting by PhotobucketA cool retreat for the weary KL soul
(image from Malaysiakini - subscription required)

Rome, as they say, wasn't built in a day. And neither was Genting Highlands. Having come back from living abroad in 1990, and visiting Genting for the first time in over a decade, Walski was gratified to see that the simple highland retreat had indeed grown and transformed itself into something awe-inspiring.

Instead of just focusing on the casino, Genting Highlands has rightly diversified itself to become a sort of " a something for everyone" destination, including hosting internationaly renowned musical acts - the most recent being the Black Eyed Peas, who will be performing there on October 26th.

A jewel-laden masterpiece, so to speak, crowning the portion of the Titiwangsa range that skirts the outer rim of the Klang Valley. On a clear night (which is pretty rare these days), one can even see Genting Highlands, up on high, like a heavenly castle suspended in the Eastern evening sky.

And that is the legacy that Lim Goh Tong has left Malaysia - a small piece of heaven on Earth, a cool retreat from the sweltering heat of the valley.

May your soul rest in peace, sir.

Walski's offbeat phrase footnote: They also sometimes say, "Where there's a will, there's a whole horde of leaching heirs coming out of the woodworks"... or something to that effect. Walski certainly hopes that in this instance, such is not the case...