Research on the Lim Clan reveals heroism in the person of Lim Bo Seng (1909-1944) the anti-Japanese resistance fighter in Singapore and Malaysia and father of eight whose legacy resonates to this day.
Lim helped the Nanyang Federation raise money for the Chinese Army while the Imperial Japanese Army rampaged across China and Southeast Asia.
In India, Lim recruited hundreds of secret agents and set up the Sino-British guerrilla Force 136 in 1942 with British Captain John Davis – trained for providing intelligence on Japanese troop movements – only
to have the operation’s Pangkor Island base blown by the Japanese capture and torture of an unknown communist guerilla.
Communications between the agents weredone by smuggling messages in empty toothpaste tubes, salted fish and diaries.
Lim arrived in Malaysia in November 1943 and used the alias Tan Choon Lim to avoid identification by the Japanese, claiming to be a businessman when he passed through checkpoints.
Lim was captured by the Japanese under Marshal Onishi Satoru at a roadblock in Gopeng, was taken to the Kempeitai headquarters for interrogation and he refused to provide the Japanese with any information about Force 136 despite being subjected to severe torture.
Instead, he protested against the ill-treatment of his comrades in prison. He fell ill with dysentry and was bedridden by the end of May 1944. Lim died in the early hours on June 29, 1944. He was later buried behind the Batu Gajah prison compound in an unmarked spot.
His wife later exhumed his remains, transported them to Singapore, where the Lim Monument stands today. Lim was posthumously awarded the rank of major-general.