Former PAP MP Dixie Tan dies

A former Member of Parliament, Dr Dixie Tan, died on Wednesday morning after a two-month illness with brain cancer. -- ST FILE PHOTO: FRANCIS ONG PUAY GUAN
A former Member of Parliament, Dr Dixie Tan, died on Wednesday morning after a two-month illness with brain cancer. -- ST FILE PHOTO: FRANCIS ONG PUAY GUAN

A former Member of Parliament, Dr Dixie Tan, died on Wednesday morning after a two-month illness with brain cancer.

A family member told The Straits Times that she passed away peacefully just after midnight. The former cardiologist and family therapist was 78.

She is survived by retired cardio-thoracic surgeon Dr Tan Ngoh Chuan, 83; son Russel, 54, daughters Grace, 50, and Jacinta, 49, and grandson Christian Lim, seven.

The late Dr Tan was a People's Action Party MP for Ulu Pandan from 1984 to 1991.

She was one of three women who entered Parliament in 1984, together with university lecturer Aline Wong and trade unionist Mrs Yu-Foo Yee Shoon.

After she retired in 1991, Dr Tan worked as a family and marital therapist at family service centres.

Dr Tan, who had two sons who were intellectually disabled, was also founding president of the Association for Educationally Subnormal Children, which was later renamed Association for Persons with Special Needs (APSN).

Said her daughter, Dr Jacinta Tan, a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at Swansea University in Wales: "Mum was enjoying her retirement and spending quality time with the family. She continued to help people on an individual basis as a counsellor and friend and we have had a huge outpouring of love from people throughout her short illness. Her Christian faith gave her strength and peace."

The wake is at Mount Vernon Sanctuary Grace Hall on Friday (3pm to 10pm) and Saturday (11am to 10pm). Services will be held from 8pm to 9pm on both days. The funeral service will be on Sunday at 3.30pm at Paya Lebar Methodist Church.

chinlian@sph.com.sg