Lim Keng Yaik

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Yang Amat Berbahagia Tun Dr.
Lim Keng Yaik
Malaysian Minister of Energy, Water and Communications
In office
14 February 2006 – 13 February 2008
Preceded by Leo Moggie
Succeeded by Shaziman Abu Mansor
Member of Parliament for Beruas
In office
24 March 2004 – 13 February 2008
Preceded by Unknown
Succeeded by Ngeh Koo Ham (DAP)
Constituency Beruas
3rd President of Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (Gerakan)
In office
1980 – 8 April 2007
Preceded by Lim Chong Eu
Succeeded by Koh Tsu Koon (acting)
Personal details
Born Lim Keng Yaik
(1939-04-08)8 April 1939
Perak, British Malaya (now Malaysia)
Died 22 December 2012(2012-12-22) (aged 73)
Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Citizenship Malaysian
Political party

GerakanBN (1973–2008)

MCAAlliance (1968–1973)
Children Lim Si Pin
Alma mater Queen's University Belfast
Occupation Medical doctor
Religion Buddhist

Tun Dr. Lim Keng Yaik (Chinese: 林敬益; pinyin: Lín Jìng Yì; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Lîm Kèng-iah; 8 April 1939 – 22 December 2012) was a former Malaysian politician and former Minister of Energy, Water and Communications in the Malaysian cabinet. He was the national president of Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia from 1980 until stepping down on 8 April 2007 to pave the way for Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon. Just before his death, he was among the only four Chinese Tunship living holders in Malaysia.


Lim was born on 8 April 1939 in Tapah, Perak to a mining father and a homemaker mother. He was educated in St. Michael's Institution in Ipoh between 1947–1957 before travelling to Northern Ireland in 1958. He graduated from The Queens University of Belfast with a MB.BCh.BAO. in 1964 and returned to serve in the government hospital in Taiping and a few more places before he opened up his own clinic in Chemor, a place that earned him his famous sobriquet 'sor chai yee sang' or 'madcap doctor' as he used to play the clown when treating sick children. He was a popular doctor and he used to offer free services to the poor patients.[citation needed]

Political career[edit]

Dr. Lim began his foray into politics in 1968 by joining the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA). He subsequently contested in the Pekan Baru state seat in Perak in 1969 on an Alliance ticket, but lost.

In 1971, he became the chairman of MCA Perak. He was appointed as a Senator to Dewan Negera and joined the federal cabinet in 1972. However, in 1973, Dr. Lim was expelled from the MCA after going against the then MCA president Tun Tan Siew Sin and in the same year joined Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (Gerakan).

He became the Ulu Kinta Gerakan division head the next year and moved up to become Perak Gerakan head in 1974. In 1976, he became the party's deputy president. In July 1978, Lim resigned as senator and contested in the 1978 Perak General Elections in the Jalong state seat in Perak, which he won narrowly and was appointed as a state Exco member for two terms until 1986.

In 1980, the medical doctor-turned-politician became the Gerakan President. For the first three terms as the party head, he faced challenges and successfully defended the position at every party election since then. He contested the Beruas Parliament seat in 1986 and won by a handsome margin. He narrowly won the seat again in 1990, amid allegations of foul play, to which he has yet to respond.[1] In the Malaysian general election, 2004 which was also the final time he contested in a general elections before retiring, he retained his seat for a last time with a clear majority of 4,564 with a total registered voter count of 15,867.

Cabinet position[edit]

Lim first became a minister in the Malaysian cabinet when he was made Minister with Special Functions dealing with New Villages and Emergency work in 1972. However, he resigned from the post the very next year as a protest against the expulsion of the MCA reform movement leaders at the time. He was then booted out of the MCA for it, where he subsequently joined Gerakan.

He made a Cabinet comeback as Minister of Primary Industries on 1986 and served in the position until 2004, when he was appointed Minister of Energy, Water and Communications. During his tenure as Minister of Primary Industries, Malaysian palm oil became very well-known and was the largest palm oil producing country in the world. Up until today, palm oil is still one of Malaysia's top money earner and job creator. He will be best remembered for bravely debating with major soya bean producers in the United States at a time when the US banned the import of Malaysia's palm oil due to the strong lobbying from the soya bean industry.

He also brought significant development to the timber industry as he worked hard and formed the Malaysian Timber Council. He also played a pivotal role in persuading Europe to import Malaysia's timber. He took the primary industries to new heights notably with the successful transformation of commodities exports to value-added products; rubber to rubber products, especially rubber dipped to furniture and cocoa to chocolates. He made unparalleled contributions in opening up the global market for Malaysian products like palm oil and timber. It was during his leadership that these commodity sectors were transformed and developed to be competitive as well as sustainable.

Tun Dr. Lim Keng Yaik switched his portfolio to the Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications in 2004. He focused on the important and urgent issues in the industry as he kept reminding the industry players to buck up and provide the services as promised to the people and be up to par, he had brought further development to the information and communication technology by ensuring better services from the telcos, the sprouting of the content industry and many more. He successfully restructured the water industry of the country.


On 2 September 2005 at the Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia 35th Annual National Delegates Conference dinner, Dr. Lim announced that he would be retiring as President on 8 April 2007, which was also his 68th birthday. Lim retired from his Cabinet post shortly before the 2008 general election.

He avowed to no longer comment on issues of the Party unless he was asked by the press. But he has in turn disregarded it and commented on a wide range of issues regarding the party, including the succession of the Penang Chief Minister position, and the more recent ousting of a party member that is working under the new opposition state government. These actions have drawn the ire of many within the party that is seeing his meddling in party affairs a cause in the continual deterioration of the party's support.[2]


After being plagued by illness for more than a year, Tun Dr. Lim Keng Yaik died peacefully on Saturday afternoon, 22 December 2012, surrounded by his family at his home in Tropicana, Petaling Jaya, he was 73. He was given a state funeral by the federal government to honour his decades of immense contributions to the country as he was one of the longest-serving ministers in the country and a highly revered statesman by the public.


Honour of Malaysia[edit]


Quotations related to Lim Keng Yaik at Wikiquote