Loss of one of Singapore's political forefathers
As founding member and leader of Barisan Sosialis, the party formed by a splinter group of the People’s Action Party (PAP) in 1961, Dr Lim was a leader who was steadfast in his socialist convictions and who always stayed true to his political principles. He did not waver even when those beliefs landed him in trouble with the authorities during
Singapore’s pre-independence days. On 2 Feb, 1963, Lim was among 110 alleged communists being arrested and imprisoned by the PAP government under Operation Coldstore. Subsequently Dr Lim remained in detention without a trial until he was finally released on 6 Sept, 1982.
Not to be displaced by the official national narrative of what happened during the tumultuous pre-independence days, he broke his long held silence with his first public speech after 25 years at the launch of the book "The Fajar Generation" in 2009. Younger generations of Singaporeans will now be able to learn of the alternate history,
and to judge for themselves, of what happened during those fateful founding years of Singapore.
Dr Lim was a man who was from the people, of the people and for the people. He made good as a doctor who poured his energy toward alleviating the sickness of the people with medicine, and worked at solving the societal disease of poverty with his intellect and principles. Truly he was a people's activist who lived, served and fought for the people. Today, we salute his unyielding spirit, high minded convictions and most of all, his steadfast integrity that underlies his sacrifice to uphold democratic socialism.
Think Centre send its deepest condolences to the family of the late Dr Lim Hock Siew and calls on fellow Singaporeans to take inspiration from his life story – one that exemplifies a life simply lived as a grandfather, father, doctor but passed on arguably as one of Singapore's political forefathers.
TOC thanks Think Centre for their contribution, this article first appeared on their website.