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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Jeyakumar – an ‘uncommon man’

Detained Sungai Siput MP Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj is an exemplary man, said his former colleague in Sarawak.

KUCHING: An ardent supporter of Sungai Siput MP Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj has expressed shock at his arrest last Friday over claims that he had some “inflammatory” materials in his possession.

Sarawak PKR leader Dr Francis Ngu, who described Jeyakumar as an “uncommon man”, said the latter was a “personal inspiration to me”.

“I know him when he was a junior officer at the Sarawak General Hospital, where I was acting medical superintendent (1983-1987).

“Even then he was an outstanding, uncommon government officer who took great care of his patients regardless of the heavy workloads.”

Jeyakumar, who is also Parti Socialis Malaysia (PSM) central committee member, was arrested together with 30 other members in relation to the planned July 9 Bersih rally.

He has been remanded for seven days.

Said Ngu: “I recall that as a junior medical officer at the Sarawak General Hospital, he went all out to ensure the safety of patients on long boat journeys, especially those who were referred from Kapit district hospital to Sibu Hospital.

“He made sure that injured workers were entitled to compensation, and canvassed to get Socso to be responsible for the rehabilitation of permanently disabled workers.

“He was concerned with the occupational safety of mostly Dayak logging workers in Sarawak.”

“He was a personal inspiration to me, and will always be,” Ngu said.

He added that Jeyakumar had dedicated many years of his service in Sarawak to his Dayak patients and also Indian plantation workers.

“His humanity finds expression in his leadership of Malaysian socialists.

“While I may not agree with all the elements of his socialist programmes, my heart is with him as he faces political persecution,” Ngu added.

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