Former PAP MP Chau Sik Ting dies of heart attack at 82

Dr Chau Sik Ting in a file photo from 2013. The former PAP MP has died at the age of 82. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Former People's Action Party MP Chau Sik Ting died of a heart attack at the age of 82 on Tuesday (Feb 8).

Dr Chau, a general practitioner, was the MP for Thomson from 1980 to 1984. He was a keen advocate for the occupational health of workers.

Writing on his Facebook on Thursday, Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC MP Alex Yam, who is also Mayor of North West District, said that through Dr Chau's advocacy, the Factories Act was repealed and replaced by the significantly more comprehensive Workplace Safety and Health Act in 2006.

Dr Chau was recognised as a Friend of Labour by the National Trades Union Congress in 1992.

Like his father Chao Yoke San, Dr Chau was an active community and grassroots leader before joining politics, including serving as the founding chairman of the Jurong Town Residents' Association in 1969.

He was persuaded by the then-MP for the constituency, Dr Ho Kah Leong, to join the PAP and participate in the 1980 General Election.

Dr Chau's eldest son, Dr Victor Chao, a 52-year-old heart surgeon at the National Heart Centre, told The Straits Times that his father was always helping the community, including the Singapore Hainan Hwee Kuan and Pei Chun Public School. The late Dr Chau had been chairing the school's management committee.

In a Facebook post in Chinese on Thursday, the Pei Chun Alumni Association noted that Dr Chau followed his late father's footsteps in serving the school, and thanked him for his care for the school, teachers and students.

Dr Chau, who was also president of the 6,000-strong Singapore Hainan Hwee Kuan from 1993 to 1997, was its honorary adviser before he died. He formed the Hainan Culture and Heritage Research Centre in 2011 to "leave something behind" for the 300,000-strong Hainanese community here.

Speaking to ST, Mr Francis Phua, president of the Singapore Hainan Hwee Kuan, said the Chau family has always been active supporters of the Hainanese community, starting from Dr Chau's late father.

The 63-year-old said: "He contacted me just two or three weeks ago, asking me to organise a discussion on the clan's matters. It is a pity that he passed on before the meeting could happen. But I believe the family will continue the tradition of supporting the Hainanese community."

Dr Chau is survived by his wife, Madam Patricia Wong, 80, three children Victor, Cynthia and Anthony, who are all doctors, and three grandchildren. He had four siblings, among them, his younger brother, retired Judge of Appeal Chao Hick Tin.

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