FOR decades, Lim Kang Hoo built his fortune and his reputation by getting along with government leaders and royal households from Perlis to Johor.
He did not crave publicity and was even willing to turn the other cheek when he got the short end of the stick in negotiations with the powerful, accepting that was the price to pay for moving with the rich, famous and connected crowd.
In return, he had access to the corridor of power at the state and federal levels and managed to snag some choice deals, including highway and river beautification projects in Kuala Lumpur and the plan to develop Bandar Malaysia.
Sandwiched in between were a slew of incentives given by the government to develop his pet project, a waterfront property in Johor Baru.
In the past few days, the unthinkable has happened.
Lim has become the government’s No. 1 enemy, with Prime Minister Najib Razak himself making it clear to stakeholders in Johor that the businessman had acted beyond the pale by going to Beijing to reinstate the deal to develop Bandar Malaysia.
Putrajaya last week terminated the December 2015 deal with Lim’s Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd (IWH) and partner China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC) after the joint venture failed to pay the RM7.42 billion purchase for a 60% stake in Bandar Malaysia to owner, TRX City Sdn Bhd.
As reported by The Malaysian Insight, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) has moved to withdraw all the incentives it gave Danga Bay, the waterfront development controlled by the self-made businessman.
Also in the pipeline are a review of his projects with the government.