Former Singapore footballer Quah Kim Song was by the side of his longtime partner Sylvia Lim as the 14th Parliament of Singapore convened for the first time yesterday (24 Aug).
Mr Quah, who belongs to a prominent football family, was one of the most famous Singapore footballers in the late sixties and early seventies and quickly became a household name due to his swift agility. The striker’s speed earned him the nicknames “Mercurial”, “Quicksilver” and “Speed Demon” by fans and media.
Among his most memorable matches was the 1977 Malaysia Cup Final at Merdeka Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where he scored two goals in a 3–2 win for Singapore against Penang. The 68-year-old has remained a draw at recent social matches, despite retiring from professional football years ago.
Mr Quah was in the corporate sector after leaving pro football and had an early retirement. He has two adult children by his late wife Mdm Shirley Wang, who succumbed to cancer in 2007, and young grandchildren.
An avid guitarist, Mr Quah met Ms Lim at a WP variety concert in 2013 when mutual friends coaxed him to get on the stage and perform his rendition of Keith Locke & The Quests’ Don’t Play That Song. Ms Lim told the press that she was impressed and the pair later danced on stage.
Ms Lim, a lawyer who has been the WP’s chairman since 2003, added that it was their common interests in music and football that drew the couple to one another. Ms Lim used to watch Mr Quah during his heyday at Malaysia Cup matches at the National Stadium. After they became a couple in 2013, she makes it a point to attend and cheer for Mr Quah when he played in social matches.
During the 2015 general election, Mr Quah served as Ms Lim’s personal chauffeur so they could still see each other despite the heat of the hustings. In an interview with the New Paper that year, Mr Quah – who described Ms Lim as his “garang” girlfriend – said: “We are very happy just going with the flow without any preconceptions about what the future might bring.”
Ms Lim added: “As both of us are not spring chickens, we accept each other totally and do not change the other.” On the topic of marriage, Ms Lim said then: “People do ask us when we’re getting married. But we have discussed this and he’s already a grandfather. We’re enjoying our relationship as it is now, so we have no plans to get married at this point.”
Revealing that Ms Lim joins his family gatherings, Mr Quah said: “I know her as Sylvia Lim, and not Sylvia Lim, chairman of Workers’ Party. We are enjoying our time together and hope to be together for a long time.”
The famous ex-footballer was among the spouses and partners of the 10 WP MPs who were sworn in when Parliament re-opened yesterday. He was included in a group photo that was taken outside Parliament House and published on the official WP Facebook page. He can be spotted standing in the back row, in the first position from the right:
Mr Quah also joined Ms Lim and her colleagues for supper after the Parliament session concluded. A photo Ms Lim shared on social media last night shows the couple dining with Hougang SMC MP Dennis Tan Lip and ex-WP MPs Low Thia Khiang and Png Eng Huat, who retired from electoral politics ahead of the 2020 election.
Ms Lim wrote on Facebook: “Parliament swearing in this evening… a happy day for Mr Low Thia Khiang and Png Eng Huat as well. What a skyline…” Her post drew over 3,000 reactions on social media: