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The obituaries dwelt on his vision of Penang as an industrial hub and his success at gaining foreign investments that made it so, cliché-ridden narratives (for example, ‘Father of Industrialisation’) which tend more to obscure than illuminate the historical record.

Left out in the paeans to Dr Lim Lim Chong Eu was his worldview: he saw politics as a play of forces rather than of ideas...

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