Genting Highlands was founded by Lim Goh Tong, who arrived at the shores of Malaysia from Fujian, in 1937. Born in 1918, Lim was a young man, only a lowly carpenter while he picked up the local Malay language. For the next few years, he dabbled in vegetable farming and petty trading, but eventually involved himself in the scrap metal and heavy machinery business. It was through this industry that Lim finally made it rich. The end of World War II signalled rapid development in Malaysia, fueling the demand for Lim's stock of second hand equipment for tin mining and rubber plantations. From there, he ventured into iron mining and then, construction.
One day, while having a meal in the Cameron Highlands, it struck upon Lim the idea of a highland resort near Kuala Lumpur. The nearest hill station then, Cameron Highlands, was about 200 km away from KL, which made it less than a convenient journey for a quick highland holiday. He scouted the mountains within the vicinity of Kuala Lumpur, and found a suitable spot on the peak of Gunung Ulu Kali, one of the highest mountains on the Pahang-Selangor border with an ideal and relatively spacious ridgetop. After studying its topography and mapping out its development, Lim pooled all his resources and energy into creating a highland resort with accessible roads, proper infrastructure, clean water and supply of electricity.
In the middle of 1971, Genting Highlands opened for business - the first Prime Minister of Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman granted him the only casino license in the country. Over the next 30 years, Genting Highlands continued to grow from a simple resort with a small casino to a modern holiday destination with theme parks, numerous hotels, large roads and a cable car system. Today, Genting Highlands is one of the most popular highland tourist destinations in Malaysia, attracting visitors from Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and all over the world. It remains still the only legal gambling den in Malaysia.