Tan Sri P.G. Lim has led a remarkable and eventful life at the heart of Malaysian affairs, as personal friend and confidante of all of independent Malaysia’s prime ministers.This memoir starts with vivid images of her childhood in Penang during the years after the First World War, leading to three years at Cambridge University in the 1930s.
The years of the Japanese Occupation were spent with her family in Penang, and after the war she qualified for the Bar. She found herself first thrust into the limelight when in 1953 she undertook the defence of a young communist woman who had acted as a messenger for the Communist Party. As a young lawyer she confronted the full British judicial establishment and made her name by saving the woman’s life.
Thereafter, P.G. plunged into an active life of politics mixed with her legal activities, often involving cases in which she acted for trades unions. Her life then took an unexpected turn as she became involved as a diplomat, serving successively as Malaysia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Yugoslavia and Austria, and Brussels and the European Economic Community.
On her return, though well beyond normal retirement age, she accepted an appointment to head the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration, which she developed, burnishing its reputation internationally over the next seventeen years before her retirement in 2000.
Her memoirs, which are generously illustrated with previously unpublished photos, will be essential reading for those interested in Malaysia’s development since Independence.