Sunday September 30, 2007
Lim Kean Siew dies at 85
PENANG: Prominent Penang lawyer and retired politician Datuk Lim Kean Siew died of a heart attack at a private hospital here yesterday. He was 85.
Lim was an accomplished writer and had written several books including The Eye Over the Golden Sands and Beauty of Yixing Teapots.
A political stalwart of the 1960s, Lim was the founder and chairman of the Labour Party and known for his fiery oratory skills. He was Member of Parliament for Datuk Keramat here for two terms, in 1959 and 1964.
Lim joined MCA in the early 1970s after leaving the Labour Party and was Penang MCA liaison committee chairman from 1979 until 1984.
He became the first Barisan Nasional assemblyman to win the Pengkalan Kota state seat in a by-election.
Lim, who came from an illustrious Straits Chinese family, was also a noted and independent-minded lawyer.
The Malaysian Bar once described him and two other siblings Kean Chye and Datuk P.G Lim as the doyens of the Bar.
A political observer here, Dr Goh Ban Lee described Lim as a good political strategist.
"Lim was one of the most perceptive observers of politics. He was also very frank and dared to do things that most politicians would not think of doing," he added.
Senior lawyer Gan Teik Chee said Lim was not an easy person to get along with.
“But he was a person who was willing to stand up for unpopular causes," he added.
Gan, who did his chambering with Lim and later joined his firm here in the early 1970s, said Lim had high ideals and political commitment.
“He was certainly one of the early figures in the anti-colonial movement, just like the rest of his family,’’ he said. Gan said after Lim was detained in 1969, he joined the MCA.
“I think he may have become disillusioned and tried to reform the Government from the inside by joining MCA,’’ he added. Lim leaves behind wife Pamela Ong, three sons and a daughter.