Tuesday, August 11, 2009

An Overseer of Residents, Patients & Family

Forty thousand residents, clinic patients in multiples of hundred, three children and one wife. Don't ask me how he manages the needs and meets the expectations of so many, he just does. This is the life of Member of Parliament for Sembawang GRC, Dr Lim Wee Kiak. Ophthalmologist by day (and sometimes night), he meets his residents regularly in the evenings and on weekends and also works around parliamentary sessions and other governmental level meetings he has to attend. While most of us grapple with being able to pack as many things as we can into 24 hours, Dr Lim has you know his primary philosophy for life, "Take it as if you are living the last month of your life, but plan as if you'll live forever."

When asked which group of people would be the toughest to meet the expecations of, this was his answer, "It is intuitive for people to think that being an MP is tougher, but if you ask me, being a father is tougher. The direct responsibility, one-to-one, and all parents want the best for their children. The best gift a parent can give to the child is memories (of) when they are young".

The former medical officer in the navy who counts gardening among his hobbies is the CEO of Eagle Eye Centre. Seeing how dentists are always expected to have a good set of teeth, we asked if his vision were as sharp as an eagle's. To this, he confessed that while in primary school, he adored his classmates who wore glasses because "they looked so studious and smart". He added that he even tried to cheat at an eye test by mis-reading some of the letters and numbers. Looks like this MP was once a cheeky little boy, but Dr Lim puts it down to good genes. No contact lenses and no Lasik for Dr Lim! Those genes somehow were never inherited by his three children who all wear glasses. With a teasing look, he says his wife has something to do with it.

Multi-tasker Extraordinaire: Dr Lim Wee Kiak, MP for Sembawang GRC.

On a more serious note, we probed about his role as an MP and a voice representing his constituents in parliament. This was his reply:
All policies, just like medicine, will have side effects. Even the best medicine will have some side effects. The big question is - How do you deal with these side effects and can you predict these side effects in advance so that you can help this group of people? For all bils and policies that are forumalted, as far as I'm concerned, they have to pass what I call 'three tests'.
Number 1 - Does it benefit the majority?
Number 2 - What does the policy mean to my children? How dies it affect their future? Some policies are very short-term; it sounds good at this point but in time, it may be adversely affecting my children.
Number 3 - Who are the one that are affected and what are the mitigating factors? What measures are you introducing to lessen the pain? If the medicine is bitter, how do you sweeten it?

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