Presentation on theme: "Lim Kim San. Introduction He put a roof over our nation. If not for Lim Kim San, there would be few subsidised flats. Back in the late 1950s, he went."— Presentation transcript:
Lim Kim San
Introduction He put a roof over our nation. If not for Lim Kim San, there would be few subsidised flats. Back in the late 1950s, he went to Upper Nanking Street to look at the state of housing for the poor. Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew had just asked him to help solve the housing problem. He was shocked by what he saw. Beneath a staircase of a shophouse, a man lay on a single plank, covered with a red blanket. That space was the mans home, and he was paying rent for it. He asked him if he was sick, and the man replied: I am covering myself out of respect for you. I am only wearing underpants. My brother is wearing my trousers. he entered a dark and damp three-storey shophouse that had one lavatory and two bathrooms. Two hundred people were living there. He thought: It is an inhuman and degrading existence. I really must help these people. So, when PM Lee asked him to head the Housing and Development board, he agreed. And he chose to do it for free. Many years later, thinking back, he said :It was a case of fools rushing in where angels fear to tread. But when you are young, you feel everything is possible. This businessman from a well-to-do merchant family felt deeply for the poor.
History(1) He was born in Singapore on 30 Nov 1916.His parents were from Sumatra and he was the eldest of six children (four girls, two boys). He lived with his extended family in a bungalow on River Valley Road, which was then a rubber estate. For some time he was the only boy among all the children, and by his own admission was "thoroughly spoilt". Although there was a private school near the family home, he went to Oldham Hall School and then to Anglo-Chinese School. He was a late starter as a bout of malaria had kept him home. He went on to Raffles College. He had hopes of becoming a lawyer, and wanted to go to the United Kingdom to further his studies but his father could not afford it. When Raffles College set up the Department of Economics, he enrolled. After graduation, he filled in time as a pump attendant at his father's petrol station on Shenton Way before joining a sago-making factory, which he later took over. He invented a machine that made the production of sago pearls less labour intensive, which helped him make his first million dollars when he was 34. He later served on the Board of Directors of the United Chinese Bank (now called United Overseas Bank). In 1959, after the People's Action Party won the general elections, he was appointed a member of the Public Service Commission. He subsequently volunteered as Chairman of the HDB. He wanted to be a volunteer partly because he had his own business and felt it ould not be fair to draw a salary. He remained a volunteer until 1963 when he became a minister. He held various portfolios, from National Development and Education to Finance and Environment.