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Lim Swee Say's wall of fame

April 23, 2011 - 7:37pm

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Walk into Labour Chief Lim Swee Say's office at NTUC Centre, and you'll be greeted by a riot of colours that spread across his back wall.

Lining the wall and his desk are all manner of posters, pictures and knick-knacks.

"I wanted something cheap," he said, referring to the hardware that holds up his decorations.

"This wiring system doesn't cost very much. There is a hook that you can put things through. Then you can reconfigure any time."

And he chooses what to put up based on how close he is to it.

"Every piece I put up has a story behind it. It's because of the story that I put it up here," he said.

Mr Lim gave The New Paper on Sunday a tour of his decorative wall.

Mr Lim: "This one I got when I was on a walkabout. A local artist was painting this and he saw me walking there. And so he gave it to me."

"This was when I went on a radio show. At the time, it was the downturn and a lot of people were losing jobs. So one lady called in and said 'I want to get a job, but can't get a job'. So I told her if she really wanted to get a job, I promised that I would find her a job. So later, we found her. She actually stayed in landed property. We offered her three jobs. Then she told us 'No lah. I can find my own job'. So finally, she found a job."

"This was actually painted by an ex-prisoner. This guy, he went to jail.. And in jail, he learnt how to draw. So when he got out, he wanted to sell his paintings to make a living. So what he did was very smart. Because he had no customers, so he started drawing public figures that he saw in newspapers. Then he approached the grassroots leaders. Said :"Hey, I painted Lim Swee Say you know." So my grassroots leaders bought this for me."

Referring to the picture of the women's national team taking home the Gold at the SEA Games: "This was when I cried, when the women won the gold medal. The only time in the history of Singapore."

"This was given to me by members of nEbO (the junior membership arm of the NTUC). They made fun of me you know," said Mr Lim, laughing.  

"I actually wrote this for a fund raising event. This word actually raised $20,000."

TNP PHOTOS: Kelvin Chng


Do you have questions for Mr Lim Swee Say?

E-mail your full name, contact details and questions on any topic to shian@sph.com.sg by noon on Tuesday (April 26).

The New Paper will select the best questions and forward them to Mr Lim.

His replies will be published later in The New Paper.

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