Building Penang, Inspiring Malaysia


In honour of Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu who passed away in November 2010, Penang Economic Monthly presents in this issue a list of articles on the second chief minister of Penang (1969–1990). Most of these are written by people who worked closely with him during the two decades when Penang industrialised under his watch in a sensational fashion. It is hoped that this will stimulate further discussions not only about the man, but also his times. The postwar history of Penang and Malaysia requires serious review. There is much we have to learn about the country’s recent past if we are to have a good shot at achieving a harmonious and progressive society in the near future.

The passing of Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu in November last year threw a challenge to all serious scholars of Malaysian history.

Not much has so far been written about him. No doubt most books on the country's political history do mention episodes such as his successful challenge against Tan Cheng Lock in 1958 for the presidency of the Malayan Chinese Association (MCA), his failed attempt to gain extra seat allocations from Tunku Abdul Rahman in 1959, the triumph of the Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (Gerakan) in 1969, him leading the party into the Barisan Nasional (BN) in 1973, and the Penang economic miracle that he facilitated in the 1970s and 1980s. But further details are rare.

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