Shaped by his life experiences, the late Dr Lim Boon Tiong chose to support urological cancer research, elderly and end-of-life care with a gift of $24 million.

The late Dr Joseph Lim Boon Tiong may have lived by a code of frugality, but in his final deeds, he will be remembered for his generosity to the causes he cared about.

With a gift of $24 million, the Dr Lim Boon Tiong Foundation was set up in 2018 with the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) to support causes in urological cancer research, palliative and elderly care.

While a lack of extravagance marked his character, as a doctor, his actions were defined by kindness, often supporting those in need with free medical treatment. He enjoyed working till a ripe age of 80 and rarely travelled, content with spending his days with his patients, his wife and four children, including his daughters Sylvia and Ivy.

As health issues took their toll on him in his sunset years, Dr Lim spent a period of time in quiet reflection. He eventually converted to Catholicism. “When he became a Catholic, that’s when his generosity took flight,” shares Sylvia.


Dr Lim’s medical background and life experiences shaped the causes and charities he chose to support. After he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in his 70s, Dr Lim became interested in supporting urological cancer research. His daughter Sylvia reveals, “Our father was frustrated because he was unable to help our grandfather, who also had prostate issues. When he became ill himself, he wanted more research in this area to benefit future generations.”

Over $7 million will be gifted to the Dr Joseph Lim Boon Tiong Urology Cancer Research Initiative at the National University of Singapore (NUS), which aims to improve patient healthcare standards and treatment down the road through experimental research.

With two gifts to the Assisi Hospice and Catholic Welfare Services (CWS) respectively, Dr Lim wished to improve the well-being of elderly seniors and those nearing the end of life. “My father wanted to make the end of life experience less traumatic”, says Sylvia.

A total of $8 million will support inpatient care at the 16-bedded St Michael’s Ward at Assisi Hospice, while a separate gift of $8 million will help bolster facilities and operations of three nursing homes run by Catholic Welfare Services (CWS).


Through CFS’s facilitation, Dr Lim’s daughters express how the process of executing their father’s will became a much simpler process.

“Initially, we were at a loss when we saw our father’s will. Both of us lead busy lives, so we don’t have time to do research and meet people from the charities. CFS has put everything into a nutshell for us, so we are well-informed to make the right decisions,” says Ivy.

Reflecting on her father’s legacy, Sylvia says, “My father’s example has shown me that to leave a gift to charity after my passing is the right thing to do.”

Ivy concurs, “What we want to instill in our children is that when they are successful, they will follow the footsteps of their grandfather.”