Sdr Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik (President from 1980 – 2007)

Dr Lim was born on 8th April 1939 in Tapah, Perak. He attended St Michaels Institution of Ipoh for his Primary and Secondary education. Upon his graduation, he headed for Belfast, Northern Ireland to pursue his degree in medicine. He graduated from The Queens University with an M.B. B.Ch. B.A.O. in 1964.

 

 

Upon his return to Malaya, Dr. Lim set up his clinic in Ipoh under the partnership of Cheah & Lim. In 1968, Dr Lim ventured into politics by joining the 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 State Liason Chairman of MCA Perak and was made a Senator. However, in 1973, Dr. Lim was expelled from MCA after his Reform MCA agenda was rejected by the then MCA president Tan Siew Sin. In the same year he joined Gerakan.

 

 

He became the Ulu Kinta Gerakan division chief the following year and moved up to become the Perak Gerakan SLC Chairman in 1974. In 1976, he became the partys Deputy President. In July 1978, Dr. Lim contested in the General Election in the state seat of Jalong in Perak, which he won narrowly. He was subsequently appointed an Executive Councillor in the Perak State Government.

 

 

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 Parliamentary seat in 1986 and won by a handsome margin.

 

 

Until the 12th General Elections, Dr. Lim had represented the people of Beruas in the district of Manjung, Perak for 22 years as their five-term Member of Parliament.

 

 

 

Dr Lim first became a minister in the Malaysian Cabinet when he was made Minister with Special Functions dealing with New Villages and Emergency Workin 1972. However, he resigned from the post the following year as a result of his expulsion from MCA.

 

 

He made a comeback into the Cabinet subsequently after an absence of 13 years as the Minister of Primary Industries in 1986 and served in that portfolio until 2004, when he was appointed Minister of Energy, Water and Communications until March 2008.

 

 

On 2nd September 2005 at the Gerakans 35th National Delegates Conference, Dr. Lim announced that he will retire as National President on 8th April 2007. Dr Lim did not stand for election in 2008 and retired from his Cabinet post after the 2008 General Election after being active in politics for 40 years.

 

 

In his 27 years of tenure as the President of Gerakan, Tun Dr. Lim Keng Yaik had managed to lead Gerakan into becoming a national political party with divisions and branches nationwide. The influence of Gerakan even made its way to Sabah. In terms of infrastructure of the party, Dr. Lim had managed to push for the construction of a 22 storey party HQ (PGRM Tower 1) in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur in 1996, followed by Tower 2 next to Tower 1 in which the new Tower was completed in 2006. The Menara PGRM Twin Towers are now the symbol of Gerakan. Apart from the Headquarters building, Dr. Lim had also assisted to build Gerakan building in almost every state and even some divisions.

 

 

Another major milestone during the leadership of Tun Dr. Lim Keng Yaik was the founding of Wawasan Open University in 2008. Tun Dr. Lim had managed to obtain the permit from the Ministry of Higher Education to set up and operate the Wawasan Open University after six years of tireless effort. It had been the vision of Gerakan to set up an open university which catered for working adults who had missed their chance to pursue a tertiary education. The main campus of Wawasan Open University in Penang was completed in 2008 whilst the other study centers were also set up in many other states in Malaysia. Tun Dr. Lim assumed the post  of Wawasan Open University Council Chairman.

 

 

He was conferred an Honourary Doctor of Law by his alma mater, Queens University Belfast in 1999 and also an Honourary Doctor of Philosophy by the Information & Communications University, South Korea in 2004. Dr Lim was bestowed a Tunship (S.S.M) from DYMM Yang Di-Pertuan Agong on 7th June 2008. Dr Lim who had tirelessly championed the establishment of Wawasan Open University was appointed as WOUs Second Chancellor on 9th May 2011.

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