From stateless drug addict to Singaporean family man
BARNABAS Lim was once stateless, despite being born in Singapore and having served national service, and was the subject of a feature story in The Straits Times in 2003.
When he was born, Mr Lim's parents were not married. His mother was Indonesian and his father was in jail.
Mr Lim saw his father for the first time only when he was in Primary 2.
Mr Lim told The Straits Times that the freedom he was given caused him to get mixed up with drugs at an early age.
He started sniffing glue in Primary 6 and went on to abuse harder drugs like marijuana and even heroin, which landed him in jail.
The turning point came in 1999 when he met a former addict who had become a Christian. Inspired, Mr Lim stayed sober, focused on his job and built a loving family with his wife.
His story inspired a raft of letters to The Straits Times forum page, all lauding the young man for his journey and bravery to forge a new future.
Many spoke up for him and his stateless situation.
When he died, Mr Lim was indeed a Singaporean citizen.
Tributes that poured in show him as a man with a love for the Church and his family.
He and his wife, Kristen Ng, were staunch Christians and regularly posted pictures of their children and their many adventures, such as a recent trip to Korea, and a fishing trip in Rompin, Malaysia.
"They were a lovely family," their neighbour, Dorothy Tan, said at their Fernvale address on Saturday.
"I was here when they moved in 10 years ago and watched as they started their family," the 71-year-old added with a heavy sigh.
THE NEW PAPER