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Singapore’s second longest-held political detainee Dr Lim Hock Siew has passed away

Posted by temasektimes on June 5, 2012

One of the founding members of the People’s Action Party and Singapore’s second longest-held political detainee Dr Lim Hock Siew has passed away last night from kidney failure, aged 81 years old.

Dr Lim co-founded the PAP in 1954 together with former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, Toh Chin Chye, Goh Keng Swee and other Old Guards of the PAP.

In 1961, he left the PAP to form the Barisan Sosialis. On 2 February 1963, he was arrested and imprisoned during a raid known as ‘Operation Cold Store’ and subsequently detained for 19 years under the Internal Security Act.

Dr Lim was accused of being a communist which he had fervently denied throughout the years though he was never officially charged for any offence. He was released on Sept 6 1982 after which he set up his own private practice ‘Rakyat Clinic’ along Balestier Road.

In a speech made in 2009 years at the launch of a book he co-authored – ‘The Fajar Generation’, Dr Lim recalled the difficult conditions he had to endure during his years of detention.

The longest-held political detainee in Singapore is former Barisan MP Chye Thia Poh who was detained for 32 years without trial. He is currently residing in Germany.

The Barisan Sosialist ceased to exist after it merged with the Workers Party in 1988.


18 Responses to “Singapore’s second longest-held political detainee Dr Lim Hock Siew has passed away”

  1. corruptpapies said

    RIP Dr.Lim, good man dies earleir while all evil man still living in ivory tower

  2. Missy said

    RIP Dr Lim, I always pass by your clinic whenever I walk along Balestier Road. You will be missed and your legend will live on.

  3. P Koh said

    I just wonder if the people who introduced this law of detention was to truly protect themselves or the people.? I know it was borrowed from the British. To hold a person behind bars to erode their youth away without trial, is a very cruel thing to do. I just cannot imagine that in politics there is no mercy or even compassion and I do hope that one day justice will prevail and that such sufferings can truthfully be addressed morally. God Bless his soul.

  4. Shawn Yaw said


    Karma is a bitch, LKY.

  5. JJB67 said

    i used to pass by his clinic too but i was too young to understand anything about politics then.. I used to live around Farrer park area and often walk to Balestier Emporium beside President Cinema… I think it’s nearby….. RIP Dr Lim…..

  6. papsmear said

    Not my business. Die die lah. So many people no rice eat. So what?

  7. Lionel said

    LOL, u do know that if we riot openly all around Singapore, the overall peace and security of the people will be endangered, and if u read the history of Singapore, u do know that Barisan Sosialis is originally a communist party, and during those times, i am sure that ur grandparents/parents went through that tough period of strikes and riots and the overall economy of the country is failing, so I think that it might be a bit biased that u would call LKY a evil man.
    LKY pulled Singapore out of hard times, WHAT do u have??

    • dog whisperer said

      You mean read history of spore by the 3 stooges ? or history yet to be fully compiled from british declassified material ?

      Dr LimHS and ChiaTP never confess to being a communist despite their detention.
      This is the hard truth. And you forgot to mention LKY served the Japanese during WW2.
      So what do you call a person who serves the enemy occupying his/her country ?
      And for sure, I won’t trust the words of anyone who has served the enemy.

      It may not occur to you, but the PAPies are being perceived as the common enemy amongst sporeans with each passing day.
      Now run along to your master and pass the message.

    • Talk is cheap said

      Will you call the man who detain you without trial for 19 years evil?
      It’s 19 years not 1.9 years.

    • Melvin Aw said

      What is your definition of communist? Do you know that LKY also supported the so called communist party then to gain independent from the British but made a u-turn to distant himself and PAP from ‘communist’ putting them on detention? In 1987, history repeated with PAP, except this time they labelled them as ‘Maxist’. I believe it is important for these facts to be surfaced and recorded for future generation to judge for themselves as part of our nation building history, instead of just recording the propaganda!

      • DIY said

        What is your definition of communist? Good question, and I have a reflection to answer.

        History of Ideas – very difficult to know when it end. Ideas evolved and the ideals become idealism. It is an abstract noun. All words ending with ‘sm’ can only be felt but not touched. It is always in the mind.

        When Karl Marx sat reading books in the British museum, he studied the advent of society’s existence from hunting, farming, fruit gathering and animal husbandry. Society thrived and tribal groups took up position to be powerful. War broke up, and the losers were taken as spoils-of-war.

        When the pharaoh built the pyramid, human slaves were used because they have no economic values. Later the lower society people become servants to serve their masters. It was followed by Lord and serf. There were no economic gains for individuals.

        The Industrial Revolution in the 18th century changed all this. Human create economic benefits out of his labour and awarded with wealth. However, discrepancies existed when workers were paid pittance for long hours working in the factories and coal mines.

        Karl Marx theorized his ideals of a perfect society. The communist ideology was born by stating that ‘from each according to his needs to each according to his deeds’.

        Ideology becomes a science. Great thinkers divided society into 3 separate entities. There were the Capitalist, Socialist and the Communist.

        The Socialist and the Communist idealism were all out to demolish Capitalism. To get rid of Capitalism, the Socialist was in favour of ballot votes, whereas the Communist the bullets. The communist say their idealism is an advanced form of ’socialism’. The Socialist idealism claim that a communist can either be a communist of a socialist, but a socialist is always a Socialist.

        USA has always been seen as a Capitalist. When the Berlin wall was broken up, Karl Marx statue was destroyed, China adopted capitalist economy but retain the communist ideology. The rest of the world adopted democratic socialism. That includes Singapore.

    • DIY said

      I didn’t know that Barisan Sosialis had merged with Workers Party in 1988. So a ‘bug’ had set in with the WP and leaked minutes of party meetings. Brave new world, isn’t it?

  8. Jeb said

    Hitler and his gang of demons is waiting for you, LKY!!

  9. Duncan said

    Those who had wrongly framed the others of being a marxist or communist will meet his maker sooner or later. Retribution.

  10. LkySi said

    Lee Kuan Yew should attend his wake as a penance for all the ills he has inflicted on him and his ilk.

  11. Eunice said

    Condolences to the family of a man much-loved and my favourite Dr from my childhood! Mom brought me all the way from Marine Parade to be treated by him or Dr Bakar. Bye, Dr Lim!

  12. Rustatin said

    Rest In Peace Dr Lim, May what you believe in comes true……………

  13. hachoiji said

    Whether BS is communist or otherwise, it’s something that we will never know. But to lock him away without trial and eroded his youth through isolation is another matter.

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