Ling How Doong, former MP & SDP chairman, dies at 85

He was elected in the momentous general election of 1991 where PAP lost 4 seats for the first time.

Sulaiman Daud | May 01, 2021, 10:52 AM

Former Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chairman and Member of Parliament Ling How Doong died on April 30. He was 85 years old.

His death was first reported by Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao, according to the Straits Times.

Ling first ran for Parliament in the 1984 general election, and again in the 1988 election where he contested Bukit Gombak against Seet Ai Mee.

However, it was in 1991 where he made his breakthrough, defeating Seet after a controversial hand-washing incident was brought up during the campaign.

Ling was elected alongside then-party leader Chiam See Tong and Cheo Chai Chen, the SDP's best election performance to date. The year was also notable as the first time that Low Thia Khiang of the Workers' Party was elected to Parliament.

However, Ling lost his seat in 1997, after the split between Chiam and Chee Soon Juan, which saw Chiam leave the SDP and join the Singapore People's Party (SPP).

Ling stood in a three-cornered fight in Bukit Gombak, against a People's Action Party (PAP) and an SPP candidate. He contested the 2001 and 2006 elections, but did not regain his Parliamentary seat.

He continued to serve as SDP chairman until 2007.

According to ST, Ling leaves behind his wife, Madam Toh Siew Ing, three sons and four grandchildren. His wake is being held at Singapore Casket in Lavender Street.

He will be cremated at Mandai Crematorium on Sunday (May 2).

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Top image from the National Archives of Singapore.