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Lee Kim Sai

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Constituency  Hulu Langat
Role  Politician
Name  Lee Sai

Religion  Buddhist
Spouse(s)  Wan Yuet Fong
Residence  Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Born  1 March 1937 (age 78) Ulu Klang, Selangor (1937-03-01)
Children  Boon Kuan, Boon Tim, Boon Siew, Boon Cheng
Political party  Malaysian Chinese Association

Tan Sri Lee Kim Sai (simplified Chinese: 李金狮; traditional Chinese: 李金獅; pinyin: Lǐ Jīn Shī) is a Malaysian politician. In the 1980s and 1990s, he served as Health Minister, Labour Minister and Housing and Local Government Minister, and was deputy president of Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA).


Early life

Lee was born on 1 March 1937 to a poor family in Ulu Klang, Selangor, and was brought up in Jinjang, Kuala Lumpur. He was educated at Chong Hwa High School in Kuala Lumpur, then trained as a teacher at the Teachers' Training College in Kuala Lumpur. He started teaching in 1957, and rose to become the principal of Kepong Chinese School.

Political career

Lee joined the MCA in 1965, and stood for parliament for the Kepong constituency in the 1969 general election, but lost to Tan Chee Khoon of Gerakan. In the 1974 election he won the Rawang state seat, which he retained in the 1978 election. He became head of MCA Youth in 1979, and was also elected vice-president of MCA the same year. He was elected a member of parliament in the 1982 general election, and was appointed deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Department.

In 1984, in a row over allegation of fictitious membership that supported the Acting President Dr. Neo Yee Pan, he was expelled from MCA along with Tan Koon Swan, Ling Liong Sik and others by the Acting President. In the ensuing party election to resolve the crisis, Tan Koon Swan was elected president with the largest majority in the party's history, and Lee was elected one of the vice-presidents as well as the Party Secretary General. Tan however resigned the next year over a scandal involving his business dealings in Singapore, and Ling Lion Sik took over as President while Lee moved up to become the Deputy President. Lee was appointed Minister of Labour in 1986, and in 1989, he became Minister of Housing and Local Government. He then became the Minister of Health from 1990 until 1995.

Lee was outspoken on a number of sensitive issues, such as questioning the Malaysian New Economic Policy and the political dominance of the Malays. In particular, in early November 1986, the MCA Selangor of which he was its head, passed a resolution in its annual convention calling on the government to review the Sedition Act and to make it an offence to call any of the three major races immigrants or pendatang. The resolution, which stated that Malaysia's three major races originated from other countries and that none of them should brand the others as immigrants and claim themselves to be natives. This was interpreted as challenging the bumiputra status of the Malays, which led to calls for his sacking by members of UMNO, and the withdrawal of his datukship by the Sultan of Selangor (later restored). He also joined a protest rally with the opposition Democratic Action Party objecting to the appointments of senior assistants and supervisors without qualifications in Mandarin in Chinese primary schools. The events precipitated the Operation Lalang in 1987 whereby over a hundred politicians and activists were detained, and Lee left for Australia for a few months.

In 1993, he attempted to challenge Ling for the leadership of MCA, but backed down after failing to gain enough support. He retired from politics in 1996.


Lee Kim Sai Wikipedia

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