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Dead at 97: Teacher who stood against Lee Kuan Yew in 1955 Tanjong Pagar election

The 3-way contest was won by the founding Prime Minister, who went on to serve there all his life




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Singapore — A teacher who stood in a Tanjong Pagar election against Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew 65 years ago died in Edmonton, Canada, on Sept 10, 2020.

Mr Peter Lim Seck Tiong was 97.

It was a three-way contest and the candiates were Mr Lee, Mr Lim and a Mr Lam Thian. It was also the first time that Mr Lee was standing for election.

Mr Lim, who was born and raised in Tanjong Pagar, living for many years in a house in Duxton Hill, was made Deputy Secretary-General of Singapore People’s Alliance (SPA) in 1958. However, he was overseas the following year later and thus missed the 1959 elections, where he would have had a better chance to win, according to a straitstimes.com report on Tuesday (Oct 13).

And while Mr Lee won the election in Tanjong Pagar, served there all his life and went on to make history, Mr Lim’s career in education has also been noteworthy.

He was principal of the Anglo-Chinese School (ACS) in Seremban in 1961. From 1965 and for the next three decades, he worked at the University of Singapore, which was later renamed the National University of Singapore (NUS), where he was director of the NUS Alumni Affairs and Development Office.

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He retired in 1996.

The educator was a man of the church as well, with many knowing him as Reverend Lim. He was pastor of the Fairfield Methodist Church in 1948 and pastor of the Barker Road Methodist Church in 1956.

“Dad lived a good, successful and long life and served his Lord well,” his son Eric, 74, told straitstimes.com.

Mr Lim’s wife, Flora, died in 2010. He also has a daughter, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, according to an obituary.

A memorial service was held by his family on Oct 5, the day he would have turned 98.

The straitstimes.com report quotes Mr Lim as saying, regarding his stint in politics: “I thought I could do some good in my life and I thought the best way I could do it was to go into politics, where you could influence the way things went on in Singapore.”

Mr Lim is remembered with fondness by many, including Mr T.T. Durai, the former chief of the National Kidney Foundation. He said: “As then president of the (NUS) students’ union, I had approached him innumerable times to obtain grants from various foundations for poor students. He helped every one of them.” /TISG

Read also: Lee Kuan Yew’s lasting legacy honoured on birthday anniversary, hundreds pay respects

Lee Kuan Yew’s lasting legacy honoured on birthday anniversary, hundreds pay respects


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