"He was the eldest son of a taxi driver and teacher who got only two new sets of clothes a year - during Chinese New Year and at Christmas. Home was a rent-controlled compound house in Upper Serangoon shared with 20 other relatives.
His biggest thrill was when his father swung by in his taxi to pick him up from Paya Lebar Methodist Afternoon School. The bright boy, who transferred to Anglo-Chinese School at Primary 5, worked hard to attain the highest rank of Colour Sergeant with the Boys' Brigade, struggling only with Chinese.
Whenever he or his three younger siblings failed in any endeavour, after putting in their best effort, his parents would take them out for a picnic. The value he caught was that: "The team that loses is the one that needs to be taken to McDonald's, not the winners. They need to be encouraged to go down to the football pitch next week to fight again."
He also learnt to treat everyone - regardless of station - with kindness. His mother had such a rapport with their Malay washerwoman, who lived in a nearby Malay kampung, that when the racial tensions broke out in the 1960s, she became their "guardian".
A university education was beyond his family's means. But he won the President's Scholarship to study at the University of Adelaide and graduated with first class honours in mechanical engineering in 1969, which gave him his clear-eyed, problem-solving approach to life.
He started work here as a mechanical engineer at sewage treatment plants where he got his hands dirty."
Read this great man's full story in the Straits Times HERE
I'm pretty sure that there are at least a few Malaysians with this public servant's values and qualities which certainly makes him a role model for all human beings. This is how human beings are supposed to live.
Imagine if Khazanah Nasional, Felda, Tabung Haji and other GLCs had more such men of honour and dignity. Even the increasingly flamboyant ministers and ministries, the Prime Minister's Department included, could do with a few such men of honour.
Just imagine, don't compare. You might slide into depression if you start comparing Mr Lim Siong Guan with some of our jet-setting GLC heads, high flying KSUs or even their no-position-holding spouses.
"Every time people visit Singapore, we show them our Housing Board flats, CPF, education system, we talk about our strong leadership and political will - all of which are important. But if I were to ask myself, so what is the brand image of Singapore? What made us succeed? What is the defining characteristic of Singapore?
"It is trustworthiness. That's why corporations plonk billions here and are prepared to wait 10 or 20 years to recover their investments. That's why so many Singaporeans work in China as financial controllers and accountants, jobs which require total integrity and honesty." - Lim Siong Guan