Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mr. JB Jeyaratnam: R.I.P.


Dear Friends,

The passing on of Mr. JB Jeyaratnam is a sad day for all Singaporeans.

JBJ, as he is affectionately known, is one man who believes in sticking resolutely to his principles to the very end.

To JBJ, the Westminster model of Parliamentary democracy is the only one worth emulating.

To JBJ, the many tweakings of our political model are at best compromises, at worse these are serious attempts to unfairly entrench the ruling party.

To some JBJ is a hero, to others a failure. There are yet others who feel that he could have played a greater role in the history of this proud little red dot, called Singapore. If only he would yield a little.

History will be the ultimate judge.

Mr. JB Jeyaratnam, May you rest in peace.

Dr.Huang Shoou Chyuan

NB: Above letter printed in ST Forum (1st Oct 2008)
Former opposition MP JB Jeyaretnam dies of heart failure

By Lee Foong Ming, Channel NewsAsia

Posted: 30 September 2008 0814 hrs

SINGAPORE: Former opposition MP and former Secretary-General of the Workers' Party, Mr JB Jeyaretnam died early Tuesday morning due to heart failure.

He was 82.

His son Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam told Channel NewsAsia that Mr Jeyaretnam, who had a pre-existing heart condition, had complained of breathing difficulties at about 1.30am.

He was rushed to Tan Tock Seng Hospital but doctors were unable to revive him.

He passed away with his family by his side.

A lawyer, Mr Jeyaretnam was the first opposition member to win a Parliamentary seat in 15 years when he defeated the People's Action Party's Pang Kim Hin and the United People's Front's Harbans Singh in the Anson By-Election in 1981.

He left the Workers' Party in 2001, and in July this year, had launched a new party called the Reform Party.

Mr Jeyaretnam leaves behind two sons.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

JBJ - A man who tried to introduce democracy to the people of Singapore. He was belittled by his political opponents as someone crazy for power (but politics is about power is it not?) and hounded into bankruptcy through a series of defamation suits by his opponents (defamation suit as a political weapon was brought to new heights by the PAP). Finally they sttoped so low as to call him a chimp for his long sideburn and charismatic face. That was in my opinion an admission of moral defeat by his political opponents and the height of confirmation of his contribution to the Singaporean society.

He will not be forgotten by the world although he will not be mentioned in Singaporean histroy text books.....

He's done his duty on Earth and May he rest in peace now...

Anonymous said...

Names in History Books are remembered(memorized rather)for examinations(tests). Those names are unlikely to be reverred for benevolence, in fact more for infamy such as Qin Shihuang(Emperor Qin-China), Hitler, Napoleon, Marcos, Suharto and many others.

Mr JB Jeyaretnam will be respectfully and fondly remembered by Singaporeans for his fights for a just and good society for all. In so doing, he was victimized and suffered much injustice, his sacrifices will not go waste. For he will be remembered for his benevolence.

May I express my deepest condolence to His Family here.

patriot

Anonymous said...

Thank You JBJ. You need the rest now. Singaporeans cannot and will not ever forget you. YOU are a GREAT man and no matter what others say about you, the majority know you a lot better and we sincerely appreciate all your sacrifices for us. Rest in heavenly peace now.
-simple citizen-

Anonymous said...

Today is a sad day for Singapore. I propose we make him the official Father of Singapore Democracy.

nofearSingapore said...

Hi

The overwhelming view among my doctor friends are that JBJ has sacrificed everything for Singapore and for what he believed in.

Some even say that he deserves a state funeral.

I can only say that Singapore does not deserve JBJ.

You are a good man, JBJ

Ravi said...

Alas, the one man who could truly stand up to the tyranny of LKY's iron-fisted rule, a man who lost everything in his bid to free Singapore from the Father, the Son and the Holy Goh, has gone out with a whimper instead of a bang. I shan't forget him, though...heroes never die!

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdK0QNHkHdw&fmt=18

Anonymous said...

So saddened am I by the passing of this man - the real fighter for Singapore's democracy - the David to the PAP Goliath. THe fight is over for you sir, but for the rest of us it goes on. May you rest in peace.

skaazz71, Maryland

Matthew said...

Thank you for your wonderful post. He was my mothers uncle and we loved him dearly. He was a wonderful uncle and we were quite close. We talked to him last on my mothers birthday in August. He never forgets to send a card and call us even though we stay in the U.S. He will be missed greatly by our family.

Anonymous said...

Mr J.B.Jeyaratnam you did the good
service in the nation of Singapore
we are provde of you,your born from Jaffna, Sri Lanka
Thank you for your services in the Nation of Singapore
We are lost for you
Thank You!

Kiranlal said...

I am an indian from India working in Malaysia, Jbj visited me in my clinic for his minor health issues, i will consider him as most valuable client.i even saw him on sunday passing by but look very tiered and withering away
I just want to say one thing, I asked about Jbj and singapore politics , no one ever made even a single wrong comment about him, he was the hero of their mind regardless of the fact wheather thy are with his political views or not, but i can see one thing JbJ is the person who is loved by every single person in singapore if they know about him . His fight was not with hate it was with love full of love.
Lets love him and tell our children singapore is not a heartless city it appears so because Jbj was representing the heart of Singapore with love and Honour. I really bow in front of you sir , your mother is lucky you are a greate son.

Tzai Wei said...

State Funeral mustmustmust

kojakbt said...

The opposition has lost a determined fighter. My condolence and sympathy…. However, I’m sure JBJ in heaven would not want us to stop fighting the PAP. Let’s continue JBJ’s fight to stop the dominance of 1-party politics in Singapore. Let’s strive to bring true democracy to Singapore by encouraging Singaporeans to vote for pluralism in our politics. Feel free to join me to continue the fight at http://forums.delphiforums.com/3in1kopitiam/messages

Anonymous said...

JBJ, thank you for fighting for a more democratic Singapore, and for keeping the government in check. I read so much about you when I was in school, but was sadly quite opposed to you then because I was very biased. Now I'm better informed. Rest in peace: Singapore has suffered a great loss with your passing. Thank you for giving your all for our country.

Anonymous said...

I went back to Singapore in 2006 and saw him selling The Hatchet Man at City Hall MRT. Went up to him , bought his book , shook his hand and said I was pleased to see him continuing his work. He asked if I wanted him to sign the book. I said "of course !". Shall go back and re-read his book and am glad that I stopped by to talk to him. I admire his tenacity. A lesser mortal like me would have given up and enjoyed my twilight years. So I salute him and may he rest in peace. His sons should be proud of him and ignore the "condolence" letter from PM Lee.

Ravindran said...

JBJ was a man respected for his courage to voice against the ruling party. I remember making time to watch every debate of his in Parliment. Singaporeans who knows and respected his views and works will definitely miss him.

So long JBJ, your voice and words will be remembered by many.

andrewtungsk said...

JBJ has proven that not all Singaporeans are chicken.
But then he has also proven that most of us Singaporeans are chickens.
Otherwise he would not have to go through most of his life a lonely man like Don Quixote.
Good thing though: his ideals will live on and hopefully Singapore will see a day when his ideals bear fruits. Then he would not have lived his life in vain.

Amaryllis said...

My sincere condolences to his family and other loved ones. I had only one ocassion to meet Mr. Jeyaratnam, and that was when I saw him selling his book along Orchard Rd. Most people were walking past him without a moment’s glance. And so I went and bought the book, and took the opportunity to shake his hand and thank him for all of his work in Singapore. It was telling that even my close friend who was with me choose to stand far away from us while I engaged with Mr. Jeyaratnam. It is sad when fear stops us from doing the right thing. I hope that all of Mr. Jeyaratnam’s struggles will be not in vain in the long run., that his actions serve as a reminder to our conscience.

http://worldlymuslimah.blogspot.com/2008/10/rest-in-peace-mr-jb-jeyaretnam-true.html

Anonymous said...

DEAREST JBJ, I HOPE YOU ARE WATCHING FROM THE HIGH HEAVENS WITH THE ALMIGHTY ON 7TH MAY 2011, SINGAPORE GENERAL ELECTIONS.YOU MAY NOT BE IN BODY HERE ON EARTH, BUT YOUR SPIRIT STILL THRIVES HERE,SIR JBJ! YOU ARE STILL REMEMBERED BY ALL OF US AROUND THE WORLD AND HERE IN SINGAPORE.YOUR BELOVED SON KENNETH IS RUNNING FOR THIS ELECTIONS AND WE HOPE GOD'S AND YOUR SPIRIT GUIDE HIM AND THE OTHER OPPOSITION PARTIES TO VICTORY.SO THAT WE THE CITIZENS OF SINGAPORE, MAY HAVE FREEDOM AND NOT BE SWINDLED BY LKY AND THE PAP. BLESS US JBJ !
With Love, Yours the Repressed