Ex-PAP MP Koh Lip Lin dies

Former Member of Parliament Koh Lip Lin, who was one of Singapore's pioneers in the education field, died on Friday, aged 79. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Former Member of Parliament Koh Lip Lin, who was one of Singapore's pioneers in the education field, died on Friday, aged 79. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Former Member of Parliament Koh Lip Lin, who was one of Singapore's pioneers in the education field, died on Friday.

He was 79.

Dr Koh was the first dean of the science faculty at the National University of Singapore (NUS), where he taught from 1980 to 1996.

He was also the dean of science at the former Nanyang University before that, and was the first Nanyang University graduate to be appointed to the post.

In a Facebook post on Saturday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong credited Dr Koh for playing his part in education reforms in Singapore.

 

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In the late 1970s, Dr Koh and the other Chinese-educated MPs had to make a "difficult decision to support education reforms that saw the merger of Nanyang University with NUS", said Mr Lee who went to Dr Koh's wake on Friday night.

It eventually led to the formation of the Nanyang Technological University.

Mr Lee said: "Today we no longer have Chinese-educated MPs, but many MPs speak Mandarin as a result of our bilingual policy. Out education system has progressed and so has Singapore, thanks to Dr Koh and his generation."

As an MP from 1979 to 1996, Dr Koh served two terms in Nee Soon and another two in Nee Soon South.

"He was one of the Chinese-educated MPs who kept us close to the Chinese ground," said Mr Lee.

During his time as MP, Dr Koh also saw the transformation of Nee Soon from a rural area into a new town, tackling many of the teething problems and helping residents settle in.

He leaves behind his wife and two children, and grandchildren.

The wake is at the Mount Vernon Sanctuary Purity Hall until Monday.