Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong passed away a few days ago and will be remembered as one of the entrepreneur greats in Malaysia. One of the earliest entrepreneurial stories I learned during the academic years was the Boon Siew’s story which was then part of the Form 2′s Kemahiran Hidup curriculum (and I believe it is still is today). Like Boon Siew, Lim Goh Tong was also an immigrant who came to Malaya with less than 150 US dollar (RM525) and eventually became one of the richest men in the country.
In fact, Boon Siew was one of Goh Tong’s business associates when the latter was making his way building Genting. It was Boon Siew’s palm station that supplied the petrol to Lim Goh Tong’s vehicles to climb the hill. During this time Boon Siew was at the peak of his career.
I remember many years ago passing the MPH shop in Gurney Plaza, Penang and saw the Goh Tong’s My Story book (actually it was written by a ghost writer as Goh Tong did not speak and write English) displayed on the main shelf. It took me less than 5 seconds to decide to buy the book. I was yet to land my first job by then and I did not have much money left but it did not deter me to spend the RM28 to buy the book. I can’t remember how many times I have finished reading the book; in fact at the very moment it is sitting there at my desk.
We, as the young Malaysia generation, have a lot to learn from sheer courage and perseverance shown by this man to face daunting challenges and at times, challenges we never even think as possible. Lack of education and experience should not stop us, or worse, become an excuse for us not to aim for the stars. When we achieve freedom, the sweetest part will come where we would be sharing our tales and hardship with our loved ones for them to ponder. We will leave a legacy for generations to come.
A couple of years ago, me and my former boss were having a chat about those people who started with zero and ended up multimillionaires and changed the world. We talked about Steve Jobs, Tony Fernandes, Lim Goh Tong, Syed Mokhtar Bukhary and so on. In summary, these group of people have undergone another level of events, challenges, adversities which surpassed our normal thinking pattern and are beyond our imagination. The combination of determination, hard work, perseverance, bravery and luck eventually make them to become exemplary figures.
Can we create our own imagination, live with it and make it happen?
Can you do it?
We are our own limitation.