Lim Goh Tong was a Malaysian-Chinese businessman and millionaire who passed away in 2007. He is most well-known for his exceptionally dangerous and lucrative expansion of the gambling industry in Malaysia. Although he may not have a significant amount of name recognition in the United States, he was an essential figure in the expansion of gaming across Asia and played a vital role in the region.
It is difficult to emphasize how much of an effect Lim Goh Tong had on Malaysia. His impact there was significant. Throughout the course of his life, he received several awards in recognition of his entrepreneurial spirit, his ability to grow his firm, and his commitment to provide his staff with favorable working circumstances. More than 20,000 individuals paid their respects to his family when he died away in 2007, either by attending his wake or sending letters of sympathy.
The Beginning: A Time of Struggle and Conflict
In the year 1918, Lim Goh Tong was born in the province of Fujian, which is located in China. He spent his childhood in a tranquil hamlet that was, for the most part, isolated from the political turbulence that followed the Chinese Revolution of 1911. He was allowed to continue his education till the age of 16, when his father passed away unexpectedly.
Tong was compelled to stop attending school after the passing of his father so that he could assist in providing for his mother and his six siblings. He remained in China for a total of three more years, but the country’s conditions only became worse during that time. He left China for Malaysia when he was 19 years old in order to pursue new chances and to relocate to a more favorable location.
There, he became acquainted with his uncle and spent a number of years working as a carpenter. He educated himself in the local tongue, trained himself in the art of independent contracting, and even took on some of his own tasks. Before the Japanese invasion of Malaysia in 1941, things were starting to look up. War would wreak havoc on his life once again and put everything into disarray.
There are a number of biographical stories that indicate Lim Goh Tong came dangerously close to passing away on many occasions during the invasion; however, there is no more information on these ordeals. However, taking into account the savagery shown by Japanese troops during World War II, this period of the young businessperson’s life was fraught with peril. The Japanese invasion of Malaysia started with a bombardment and was followed by the actual invasion of Malaysian territory by Japanese forces.
People of Chinese descent from Malaysia were treated in an exceptionally severe manner inside the country of Malaysia. During this time period, Japan was engaged in a bloody conflict with China that was characterized by the widespread bombing of civilian targets located inside China as well as crimes such as the Rape of Nanking. People who were suspected of having sympathies for China in Malaysia were taken into custody, interrogated, and sometimes even subjected to torture.
Therefore, despite the fact that we do not know the specifics of Lim Goh Tong’s “near death” experiences, we may presume that he was going through a difficult moment in his life. He began his working life as a vegetable farmer, but eventually transitioned into the trade industry. After the last of the Japanese soldiers had departed Malaysia, a surge in demand occurred in that country for scrap metal and old equipment.
During this time period, Lim Goh Tong made his first significant financial gains. He started a business dealing secondhand equipment, and with the money he made there, he moved into the iron mining industry. After that, he was able to go back into the contracting company by making use of his large wealth, collection of machines, knowledge in the mining industry, and the assistance of his uncle.
His contracting firm was successful, and as a result, he obtained contracts that were progressively more lucrative. Lim Goh Tong was successful in business as the company’s name became more known and it got national acclaim for the quality of its work. Even significant jobs, such as the construction of the Ayer Itam Dam in Malaysia, were awarded to him and his business.
Lim Goh Tong was already an extremely rich man by the 1960s, although his career was only getting started at that point.