Dr Vivian Balakrishnan: Dr Lim Hock Siew was a good and honorable man
Posted by temasektimes on June 6, 2012
Dr Lim Hock Siew was a good and honorable man and Singapore has lost another member of the founding generation with his passing, wrote Minister of Environment and Water Resources Dr Vivian Balakrishnan on his Facebook.
A founding member of the People’s Action Party and its splinter party Barisan Sosialist, Dr Lim passed away on Tuesday night at 81 years of age. He was the second longest held political prisoner in Singapore, being detained for 19 years without trial under the Internal Security Act from 1963 to 1981.
In a note posted on Facebook, Dr Vivian recalled his first meeting with Dr Lim:
“I remember meeting him 24 years ago at a party hosted by my mentor Professor Arthur Lim. They were classmates in medical school and life long friends. He introduced himself as “I am Lim Hock Siew, and just came out of prison a few years ago!”
Dr Vivian remarked he was struck by the lack of bitterness in Dr Lim in spite of what he had gone through:
“We had a good chat and he freely shared his life experiences. I was struck by the absence of bitterness despite all his sacrifices. I think he knew in his heart that he was a patriot, and was proud that he never gave in.”
Interestingly, Dr Vivian consulted Dr Lim before he joined the PAP:
“I consulted him before I entered politics. He did not discourage me. On the contrary, he told me to focus on doing the right thing. He told me he did not bear any ill will to the current leaders. He reminded me that he was a founding member of the PAP.”
Dr Lim leaves behind his wife and a son Yue Wen. After his release from detention in 1981, he focused on his medical practice and retired from politics altogether.