TAN SRI Dr. LEE BOON CHIM (1926 – 1998)
Boon Chim was born and went to school in Singapore. He went to Cheklang University to read history but his studies were interrupted by the Civil War.
After serving an apprenticeship as clerk, in 1948 he was appointed Manager of Lee Rubber Co Ltd in Kuala Lumpur and he became the Managing Director of Lee Rubber (Selangor) Sdn Bhd in 1962. Amongst his other posts were the President of the Federation of Rubber Trade Associations and Board Member of the Malaysian Rubber Exchange & Licensing Board.
Boon Chim’s involvement in the industry spans trading, research and development, marketing and becoming a leader. In 1965 he became the pioneer in the commercial production of Technically Specified Natural Rubber (TSR) and his efforts culminated in the first production of TSR now Standard Malaysia Rubber (SMR).
His numerous awards include Johan Setia Mahkota (JSM) and Tan Sri from the Yang Dipertuan Agong; Honorary Doctorate in Law from the University of Malaya (1971) and Gold Medal from the Malaysian Institute of Chemistry (IKM). He was also appointed a Senator in the Malaysian Government.
He was a founder member of the Institution of the Rubber Industry (Malaysia), now the Plastics & Rubber Institute, and an Honorary Life Vice President. The PRIM is indebted to Boon Chin as through him the Lee Rubber Foundation was and still is its major benefactor. His wish was to be remembered for his love of rubber as a “Rubber Worker”, and for his contributions to SMR. In his later years he enjoyed walking in Kew Garden, London to see the rubber trees from which the Malaysian Natural Rubber Industry developed.