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Lim Hock Siew (1931-2012) – a fiercely independent unbending tenacious political fighter all his life. I was struck by the absence of bitterness despite all his sacrifices – Vivian Balakrishnan

Lim Hock Siew (1931-2012) – a fiercely independent unbending tenacious political fighter all his life

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!”

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.

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.

We met from time to time socially. Whenever we discussed politics, it was obvious that he was still a conviction socialist. There were times, we agreed to disagree.

Singapore has lost another member of the founding generation. We must all be deeply grateful to him and his family for all their sacrifices. He was a good and honourable man.

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