After a decades-long search, Workers’ Party (WP) chairman Sylvia Lim managed to track down the family of her father’s namesake, pioneer Singaporean Lim Choon Mong.

Born in 1920, Mr Lim was a member of the Progressive Party in pre-independent Singapore and was among those who negotiated independence for Singapore, alongside People’s Action Party pioneer Lee Kuan Yew and the Labour Front’s David Marshall, who had also served as Chief Minister.

Ms Lim’s father was born 17 years after his namesake. He went on to work in the police force before quitting to study law in London and qualified as a practicing lawyer in his late 30s. When he was in the police force, he was known for regularly giving briefings to founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

The younger Mr Lim carved out a successful career in law and devoted more than 20 years to his legal practice M/s Lim & Lim. Ms Lim, one of three children, followed in her father’s footsteps.

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She first joined the police force as an inspector before turning to law. She joined politics right after the 2001 general election and paved the way for women in the opposition by becoming Singapore’s very first Non-Constituency Member of Parliament after the 2006 election. She made history and became Singapore’s first female opposition MP in the 2011 election.

Throughout the years, Ms Lim sought the family of her father’s namesake and finally found the family on Sunday (8 Nov). Sharing that she found precious photos of the elder Mr Lim when she met his family, Ms Lim wrote on Instagram:

“For decades I wanted to seek out the family of the late Lim Choon Mong, my father’s namesake who was 17 years older (born 1920), a member of the Progressive Party in pre-independence Singapore.
“Today I found them, with a treasure trove of precious photos. Here is one showing a multi party team in London in the 1950s, there to negotiate independence for Singapore. Third from left, David Marshall (Labour Front); second from right: Lim Choon Mong (Progressive Party); far right LKY (PAP). Many contributed to achieve an independent Singapore!”