KUALA LUMPUR: TAN Sri Lim Phaik Gan, Malaysia's pioneer woman ambassador and one of the country's first woman lawyers, died yesterday in Perth, Western Australia, at the age of 96.
Better known as "P.G. Lim", she was born in Britain in 1918 and was
among the first Malaysian women to earn a Master's in Law from Cambridge
One of her best-known cases was the defence in 1948 of Lee Meng, a guerilla detained in Perak for alleged communist activities.
She also defended 11 youths sentenced to death for consorting with
Indonesian infiltrators and for possessing arms during Confrontation in
Lim, who won the Merdeka Award in 2009, served as legal adviser to
several unions who could not afford to hire lawyers, and often
championed the underprivileged.
Former Court of Appeal judge Tan Sri V.C. George remembers that, as a
pupil in chambers in 1956, "I followed her around the country, carrying
her bags in court. I realised what a formidable advocate she was. She
was a tough fighter, who didn't pull her punches. She was hot tempered
and impatient, but worked very hard. From her, I learned to focus on the
real issues and not on the fringe."
Retired lawyer Ernest Devadason also remembers his first job, working
at the law firm which Lim set up: "The foundation she gave me as a young
lawyer was the best I could have had and stood me in good stead."
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