✦ Sam Lim MP, born in Johor, Malaysia is a Federal Member for Tangney (Western Australia) representing The Hon Andrew Giles MP, the Australian Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs
Listen to Sam Lim and you'll feel at home right away. This is a man who has both his feet firmly planted on the earth and loves being surrounded by real people and the community. If you had stumbled on his recent Q&A session organised by the Australian Malaysian Singaporean Association (AMSA), you'd have thought it was a family gathering with lots of laughter.
Sam Lim Bon Cheng was elected to the Australian House of Representatives as member of the Australian Labor Party in 2022 to represent the division of Tangney in Western Australia.
Born in Muar and the eldest of eight siblings, Sam became a police constable for 2 years in the Royal Malaysia Police. He emigrated to Australia in 2005 and joined the Western Australia Police Academy in 2006. Sam worked across Perth and regional Western Australia. He was awarded Police Officer of the year in 2020 for his work with multicultural communities during COVID-19.
Brilliant-Online's CEO Veronica Lind recently met Sam at a Q&A session and she wanted to know what his wish was for Australians in 2023. Here are some of Sam's thoughts, and you'd see for yourself that in spite of where he is now and his achievements, he is still very much a humble man who genuinely cares for people and believes there is something he can do to make a change.
Cost of Living
For Sam, the top task in the government is to control the cost of living, something we all feel. Prices get higher, salaries remain frozen. The Australian government has plans to help control the cost of living, and their task is made difficult because of debts and poor management of expenses in the past.
Conditions of Refugees
As a police officer, Sam has had a lot of first hand contact with refugees. Sam has seen their suffering, the problems they have with visas, renewals and not being able to leave the country. They do not get to see their families for years. Sam did his part to help refugees by pooling together his contacts, putting refugees under temporary protection visa and he went to see the Prime Minister to persuade him to help the refugees. We await what we hope would be good news to make the situation of refugees better soon.
Sam has been in the police force in Australia for almost 16 years and what really impressed him was how there was zero corruption there. The Australian Police Force is transparent, full of integrity and can be trusted, which is a luxury not all countries necessarily have. In spite of being in politics, Sam joked that he himself did not trust politicians, which is why his first aim when he entered politics was to bring about anti-corruption. Thanks to the efforts of the Albanese Government, an Anti-Corruption law is now in place against corruption.
Going many extra miles
He appreciates the fact that as a member of parliament he can now do more for the people. He sees himself as a politician doing the work for the whole of Australia and not just where he is based. Sam tries to make a difference wherever he goes, as a police officer or as an MP. As a police officer, he created a Chinese social media account as a platform to translate information for non-English speaking people. He spent endless hours answering their questions and sharing the answers with everyone on the platform. He did that for five years and even the Vietnamese community started doing the same thing for their language.
Raising the bar
Sam is dedicated to serving the people and he makes himself available to people who have an issue to bring up. He is quick to give out his contact details so people can get in touch with him. It is his way of truly listening to the people and understanding what is really going on at ground level. His staff are as committed as Sam and they work very hard. With a leader that driven and keen on his cause, it would be difficult not to feel the same passion.
Sam is aware that what he is doing is not common. But he wants to raise the bar, to set the benchmark, leaving behind this legacy so the next MP in line can do even better.
Image above: Sam Lim MP (right) at the Q&A session moderated by Thomson Ch'ng, President of AMSA (left)
More than well loved
Since being an MP, Sam has been a very well-known and well-loved figure where he is. He has had people in shopping centres come up to him to shake his hand and take a few proud selfies. He can clearly feel the warmth from the people where he goes. For Sam, there's no better feeling than this. He works for everyone. He is ready to help, whether someone is a citizen or not, it's always been a simple 'How can we help you?'. This has earned him the respect of a wide variety of communities. Be they Caucasians, Malaysians, Chinese, Singaporeans, Taiwanese, Indonesians, Indians, Arabs and Asians, they all know Sam's name and smiling face. His communities support him, because he has from the very beginning supported them.
It is no surprise then, that Sam has an anti-war approach to things. He has heard his grandparents recount their suffering during the Japanese occupation and that was more than enough to convince Sam that war is definitely not the way to go. His son joined the Navy and is a Submariner. Sam knows there is no way he is sending his son or anyone's sons to a war anywhere. Many of the refugees Sam has spoken to have come from conflict in their homeland, where the origin has not necessarily been from there but from an external intervention. Sam does not believe in encouraging war.
Image: An emotional AUST333 Chinese reporter hugged Sam Lim MP when he met with Sam. Photo: Sylvia Tiong
Yes there are many problems internationally and some we may not be able to solve immediately, but many of these can be solved by listening. For Sam, listening helps parties find alternative ways of doing things. By listening, he can create an open conversation as opposed to shying away from the problem and repressing it.
It is not every day that we are afforded the chance to get up close and personal and hear an MP share his experiences and thoughts so close to his heart. Sam is clearly an all round nice guy, but what gets people respecting and trusting him is how he stands his ground in an area as tricky and complicated as politics. He shows that one can have a kind heart and still be firm in standing by one's values.
Sam in Malaysia
Sam is in Malaysia for Christmas/New Year holidays as we write this article. However, work never stops. He addressed the Malaysians during his visit. Here are some articles written about Sam.
Beauty of the spoken word
Contact Sam Lim MP
a/ 6 Aveley Street
Willetton, WA, 6155
t/ (08) 9354 9633
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