S'pore Law Society president Adrian Tan, 57, dies after battling with cancer for over a year


Fiona Tan | July 08, 2023, 08:37 PM

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The Law Society of Singapore (LawSoc) announced that its president Adrian Tan Gim Hai has passed away at the age of 57 on Jul. 8, 2023.

An indescribable void that cannot be filled

LawSoc shared the "heartbreaking news" in a Jul. 8 Instagram post.

"Throughout his battle with cancer, which he was diagnosed with in March of 2022, Adrian exemplified extraordinary courage.

Despite the immense challenges he faced, he continued to carry out his duties with resolve and cheerfulness, and never failed to grace us with his trademark humour.

Today, we not only mourn the loss of a distinguished leader but also grieve for a cherished friend and trusted comrade. Adrian's absence leaves an indescribable void that cannot be filled.

His memory will forever hold a special place in our hearts.

We extend our deepest condolences to Adrian's family and loved ones.

Rest in peace, dear Adrian. Your spirit and unwavering dedication will continue to inspire us all."

Image from @lawsocietysg/Instagram.

Battling cancer for over a year

Tan had been battling cancer for the past year or so.

He was diagnosed with cancer in March 2022 and announced his diagnosis on the social media platform LinkedIn on Jul. 28, 2022.

He did not state the type of cancer, but said he was determined to “fight cancer, fight my cases in court and fight for lawyers as their president, until the clock runs out”.

He was immediately put on an aggressive treatment regime, which involved chemotherapy, immunotherapy and hormone therapy once every three weeks.

At that point the doctors were positive about his condition, The Straits Times (ST) reported.

Performed his duties remotely

While battling with cancer, he performed his duties as a partner at TSMP Law Corporation and as the newly appointed president of the LawSoc remotely from home.

He was the LawSoc treasurer and vice president before he he took the helm on Jan. 1, 2022.

Tan also began working on a novel.

He was well-known for authoring "The Teenage Textbook" and "The Teenage Workbook" in the 1980s.

If it is any sign that his works have withstood the passage of time, "The Teenage Textbook" was adapted into a Mediacorp drama comedy series nearly 40 years later in 2021.

Aired his views on social media

Tan also wrote commentaries where he aired his views on a range of subjects on social media.

This includes urging against HDB's ban on cats in public housing, despite having no pets of his own, according to his LinkedIn.

He also criticised British billionaire Richard Branson in November 2022, after the latter turned down a live televised debate on the death penalty with Minister for Home Affairs and Law K Shanmugam.

More recently, Tan discussed on LinkedIn whether assisted suicide should be allowed and shared his view on the meaning of life.

Tan, who was still battling cancer but reassured the public that he was fine then, said he believed that Singapore law should allow assisted suicide.

"The main point is this: it’s my life. I should be allowed to live it, or not live it, as I wish.

Society’s views are irrelevant. In fact, it is cruel for society to force me to carry on living in unbearable and inhumane conditions."

Last LinkedIn post was two weeks ago

Tan penned his last message on the Law Gazette and his last LinkedIn post in June 2023.

He is survived by his wife, who works in the Ministry of Defence, according to ST.

The couple have no children.

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Top image from TSMP Law Corporation website