Lim Keng Yaik

Tun Dr.Lim Keng Yaik SSM (Chinese: 林敬益; pinyin: Lín Jìngyì; Jyutping: Lam4 Keng3 Yik4; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Lîm Kèng-iah; 8 April 1939 – 22 December 2012) was a Malaysian politician and former Minister of Energy, Water and Communications in the Malaysian cabinet. He was the third president of Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (Gerakan) from 1980 until stepping down on 8 April 2007 to pave the way for Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon.[1] Just before his death, he was among the only four living Chinese with Tunship holders in Malaysia.

Lim Keng Yaik
Minister of Energy, Water and Communications
In office
27 March 2004 – 18 March 2008
Mizan Zainal Abidin
Prime MinisterAbdullah Ahmad Badawi
DeputyShaziman Abu Mansor
Preceded byLeo Moggie Irok
Succeeded byShaziman Abu Mansor
Minister of Primary Industries
In office
11 August 1986 – 26 March 2004
Azlan Shah
Prime MinisterMahathir Mohamad
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
DeputyMohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad
Alias Ali
Tengku Mahmud Tengku Mansor
Siti Zainaboon Abu Bakar
Hishammuddin Hussein
Anifah Aman
Preceded byPaul Leong Khee Seong
Succeeded byPeter Chin Fah Kui (as Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities)
3rd President of Malaysian People's Movement Party
In office
1980 – 8 April 2007
DeputyKerk Choo Ting
Koh Tsu Koon
Preceded byLim Chong Eu
Succeeded byKoh Tsu Koon
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Beruas
In office
3 August 1986 – 13 February 2008
Preceded byMichael Chen Wing Sum (MCA-BN)
Succeeded byNgeh Koo Ham (DAP)
Majority1,015 (1986)
863 (1990)
11,254 (1995)
1,455 (1999)
4,564 (2004)
Personal details
Lim Keng Yaik

(1939-04-08)8 April 1939
Tapah, Perak, Federated Malay States, British Malaya (now Malaysia)
Died22 December 2012(2012-12-22) (aged 73)
Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Political partyMCA (1968–1973)
Gerakan (1973–2008)
Other political
Alliance (1968–1973)
Barisan Nasional (1973–2008)
Spouse(s)Toh Puan Wong Yoon Chuan
ChildrenDatuk Lim Si Pin
Dr. Lim Poi Giok
Lim Poi Jing
Alma materQueen's University Belfast
OccupationMedical doctor


Lim was born on 8 April 1939 in Tapah, Perak with fifteen siblings, to a mining father and a homemaker mother. He was educated in St. Michael's Institution in Ipoh between 1947 and 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.[2]

He married Wong Yoon Chuan and the couple have three children. Former Gerakan Youth Chief, Lim Si Pin is their son.[3]

Political careerEdit

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 Negara 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 never respond.[4] In the 2004 Malaysian general election 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.[1][3]

Cabinet positionEdit

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.[1]


On 2 September 2005 at the Gerakan 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 ousting of a party member that was 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.[5]

Wawasan Open University (WOU) appointed Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik as its second chancellor on 9 May 2011 to succeed the Late Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu.[1]


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.[3][6] 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.[2]

Election resultsEdit

Parliament of Malaysia [7][8]
Year Constituency Government Votes Pct Opposition Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
1986 P.062 Beruas, Perak Lim Keng Yaik (PGRM) 11,926 48.82% Gong Ngie Hea (DAP) 10,911 44.66% 25,236 1,015 72.46%
Hassan Mohamed (PAS) 1,594 6.52%
1990 Lim Keng Yaik (PGRM) 13,889 51.60% Ngeh Koo Ham (DAP) 13,026 48.40% 27,718 863 71.38%
1995 P.065 Beruas, Perak Lim Keng Yaik (PGRM) 18,313 68.46% Chen Lim Piow (DAP) 7,059 26.38% 36,842 12,318 73.71%
Ramli Ariffin (Ind) 708 2.65%
Tan Kiat Seng @ Shuk Yik (Ind) 671 2.51%
1999 Lim Keng Yaik (PGRM) 14,256 51.81% Yew Teong Chong (DAP) 12,801 46.53% 28,297 1,455 64.02%
Abdul Roni (MDP) 457 1.66%
2004 P.068 Beruas, Perak Lim Keng Yaik (PGRM) 15,867 58.40% Nga Hock Cheh (DAP) 11,303 41.60% 28,328 4,564 67.17%


Honours of MalaysiaEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "Sdr Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik (President from 1980 – 2007)". Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (Gerakan). Retrieved 20 May 2008.
  2. ^ a b "Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik laid to rest with national honour". The Star. 26 December 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Leven Woon (22 December 2012). "Lim Keng Yaik dies". Free Malaysia Today (FMT). Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  4. ^ "DAP report Malaysia". Democratic Action Party (DAP). 12 May 2008. Retrieved 20 May 2008.
  5. ^ Andrew Ong (29 April 2008). "Quit and butt out, Gerakan ex-boss told". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 20 May 2008.
  6. ^ FARAH HARITH (22 December 2012). "Former Gerakan Chief, Lim Keng Yaik Passed Away". Malaysian Digest. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  7. ^ "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum". Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen/Dewan Undangan Negeri (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 17 March 2010. Percentage figures based on total turnout.
  8. ^ "Malaysia General Election". undiinfo Malaysian Election Data. Malaysiakini. Retrieved 5 May 2014. Results only available from the 2004 election.
  9. ^ "Three new Tuns head awards list". The Star. 7 June 2008. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  10. ^ "Sultan of Pahang's 75th birthday honours list". The Star. 26 October 2005. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  11. ^ "Sarawak Honours List 2008". The Star. 5 November 2008. Retrieved 26 September 2018.

  Quotations related to Lim Keng Yaik at Wikiquote

Political offices
Preceded by President of Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (Gerakan)
1980 – 8 April 2007
Succeeded by