Genting Malaysia denies involvement in Forest City casino discussions

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, April 27 — Genting Malaysia Berhad today rejected a news report claiming it was involved in talks relating to the opening of a second casino in Johor.

Genting said its deputy chairman and chief executive, Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay — who was named in the news report — has never been involved in such discussions for a casino opening in Forest City, Johor.

It also called on all parties to cease any dissemination of misinformation and untrue claims, following a recent Bloomberg news report, which claimed to quote people familiar with the matter as saying that the opening of a casino would revive the US$100 billion (RM478.35 billion) Forest City property project.

“Genting Malaysia Berhad wishes to state that neither the company nor Tan Sri Lim was involved in any such discussions or meetings and the claims made are untrue.

“Genting will not hesitate to take action deemed necessary to protect its interests and stakeholders,” the statement read.

Genting’s denial follows after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is also the finance minister, categorically denied that the federal government was weighing the idea of issuing a second casino licence in the country.

It was reported that Anwar had met Berjaya Corp Bhd founder Tan Sri Vincent Tan and Lim last week at the development on the southern coast of Malaysia near Singapore.

A spokesman for Berjaya has, however, reportedly said the company is not aware of any conversation between Anwar and Tan on the potential development of any casino in Forest City.

Most recently, Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi affirmed Johor’s stance on the proposed opening of any casinos in the state, describing the news report as a mere rumour intended for sabotage and to maliciously tarnish the image of Forest City and the state of Johor as a whole.

According to the national news agency Bernama, 70 per cent of the property development at Forest City in Iskandar Puteri, Johor has been sold within the past two years and is set to continue to increase over the next three to four years.