Former diplomat and former executive director of the People’s Association Lim Chin Teong, the father of lawyer and People’s Voice Party chief Lim Tean, died of illness on the afternoon of 21 Feb at the age of 84.
Mr Lim Chin Teong was admitted to the hospital after a fall on the 16th. He was then still conscious and in good physical condition.
After being discharged from the hospital, however, he suddenly felt unwell and suspected that his organ was infected. He died of pneumonia in the hospital.
The late Mr Lim Chin Teong was a graduate of Nanyang University and had served in the public sector for 20 years.
He joined the government in 1961 and served as an administrator in various units. He also worked with Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and former Deputy Prime Minister Dr Goh Keng Swee.
Mr Lim Chin Teong was later selected to study Russian in Russia. He was appointed as the first secretary of the Chinese Embassy in the Soviet Union in 1971 and was promoted to the consul in 1973.
His whole family lived in Moscow for about four to five years.
After returning to Singapore, he served as the deputy secretary for the Ministry of Culture and as the field director of the People’s Association. In 1978, he took over as the executive director of the People’s Association.
He resigned from the People’s Association in 1982 and turned to business development.
In an interview with Lianhe Zaobao, Mr Lim Tean admitted that his interest in politics was greatly influenced by his father.
While living in Russia, even though he was still in elementary school, his father often discussed current affairs at the dinner table, which also aroused the younger Mr Lim’s interest.
Since his childhood, Mr Lim Tean said that he had been very familiar with the names of former United States’ President Richard Nixon, former Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai, former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, and other prominent leaders.
Mr Lim Tean said that his father “worked diligently and attentively” and was “also very open-minded”.
“He has always believed that politics need to adapt to the requirement of the times, so he did not prevent me from joining the opposition party,” said Mr Lim Tean.
Members of the People’s Association also presented wreaths of condolences to the bereaved.
Among those who offered condolences are Members of Parliament of Jalan Besar GRC — led by Manpower Minister Josephine Teo — who sent flowers to Mr Lim Tean.
Mr Lim’s People’s Voice team contested against Mrs Teo’s People’s Action Party team in last year’s general election.
The current chief executive director and the assistant chief executive of the People’s Association also paid a visit to the wake at the Singapore Casket.
Mr Lim Chin Teong’s remains will be cremated at the Mandai Crematorium this afternoon.