'This is all about value for money'
An interview with Lim Kim San, Singapore Press Holdings executive chairman
Lim Kim San, MP for Cairnhill taking an oath in Parliament in 1972.

POLITICIAN-TURNED-PUBLISHER. That was an apt title for Mr Lim Kim San, 81.

Mr Lim became executive chairman of the Singapore Press Holdings group in September 1988, bringing with him some 30 years' experience in Cabinet and top public sector appointments.

Since December 1991, he has also served as chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers, and is Acting President of the Republic of Singapore in the President's absence.

Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew last year cited him as one of the Government's past "political entrepreneurs", who had seized opportunities using powers of analysis, imagination, a sense of reality, drive and character.

"He has a lively, practical mind," Mr Lee said. "That's why Singapore Press Holdings' profits have increased."

A successful businessman before he entered public service, Mr Lim was chairman of the Housing and Development Board from 1960 until 1963, when he became MP for Cairnhill, which he served until his retirement from politics in 1980.

His Cabinet portfolios included National Development (1963-65 and 1975-79); Finance (1965-67); Interior and Defence (1967-70); Education (1970-72); Environment (1972-75 and 1979-80); and Communications (1975-78).

He was chairman of the Port of Singapore Authority from 1979 to 1994, and managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore from 1981 to 1982.

In the following pages, he was interviewed by The Straits Times for 150 Years Of The Straits Times, the paper's anniversary special.

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