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Published: Saturday December 22, 2012 MYT 6:30:00 PM
Updated: Saturday December 22, 2012 MYT 10:22:06 PM

Former Gerakan chief Lim Keng Yaik dies

PETALING JAYA: Former Gerakan president Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik passed away at his home in Tropicana here at 4.45pm on Saturday. He was 73.

He leaves behind his wife, Toh Puan Wong Yoon Chuan and three children.

After news of his demise was broadcast, media representatives began to fill up the area outside Lim's residence to seek more information from members of his family.

His son, Gerakan Youth chief Datuk Lim Si Pin, when approached by reporters, declined to be interviewed.

Gerakan Youth secretary-general Dominic Lau, who was also present beside Si Pin, pleaded with the journalists to return to their offices.

"We will inform you tomorrow," Lau said.

Dr Lim, a medical doctor-turned-politician, became the Gerakan president in 1980.

Born on April 8, 1939, Dr Lim began his political career in 1968 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 chairman of Perak MCA but was expelled in 1973. In the same year, he joined Gerakan.

Dr Lim became the Ulu Kinta Gerakan division head the next year and moved up to become Perak Gerakan chief in 1974. In 1976, he became the party's deputy president. In July 1978, Lim resigned as senator and contested in the general elections and won the Jalong state seat in Perak.

Dr Lim he contested and won the Beruas Parliament seat in 1986 with a handsome margin and had held the seat until the 2004 elections when he retired from politics.

Dr Lim first joined the Cabinet when he was made Minister with Special Functions dealing with New Villages and Emergency work in 1972.

He held many ministerial positions with the last being the Energy, Water and Communications portfolio in 2004.

On Sept 2, 2005, at the Gerakan annual national delegates conference dinner, Dr Lim announced that he would be retiring as party leader on April 8, 2007, which was also his 68th birthday.

Lim retired from his Cabinet post shortly before the 2008 general election.

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