The Heart Of A Gentle Person - Dr Jeyakumar

The recent arrest and detention of 6 Parti Socialist Malaysia (Socialist Party of Malaysia) including Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj, Member of Parliament for Sungai Siput has brought much distraught to not only to those arrested but to their family members and loved ones.

Dr. Jeyakumar, as he is fondly known, is a cardiac specialist by profession. He has been working tirelessly for the poor and downtrodden since he was a child.

Christopher Rajaselvan, a close relative, gave several accounts and examples of Dr. Jeyakumar’s good deeds.

Christopher explained that once during his teenage life he was on his way to the shops wearing his flip flops. A few hours later he called his mother and pleaded with her to pick him up. After much persuasion she relented and went to pick him up and to her horror she found him bare footed in the glaring heat of the midday sun. He then explained to her that he saw an old man shuffling about without slippers and gave him his own flip flops to wear, only to realise that his feet began to hurt because of the sweltering heat.

Even as an undergraduate student at University Malaya, Dr. Jeyakumar was constantly involved in the plight of the estate workers. Christopher said that Dr. Jeyakumar started tuition classes in many estates from Sg. Siput to Butterworth for poor students during his semester breaks. His legacy still continues till today with Indian students still sacrificing their important time during their breaks to tutor underprivileged students in the estates till today.

Upon qualifying as a medical doctor, he requested to be posted to Sarawak, where he would travel to the interiors by boat to provide medical assistance. There he treated the indigenous people and began education programmes for children. He continued to live in Sarawak for several more years working for the poor and destitute.

Christopher shared another remarkable story of Dr. Jeyakumar, when he treated an elderly lady who was in great pain and suffering from the last stages of cancer. He would travel late at night to her home as she was unable to make the regular trips to the hospital. The old lady was living in a broken down hut and lying on a makeshift bed. Dr. Jeyakumar would listen to the lady attentively and comforted her throughout whilst administering painkillers to sooth her pain.

He has worked tirelessly for the downtrodden and at times this has caused his arrests previously. Dr. Jeyakumar has been quoted as saying that, “it is not enough just to tell people what is the right thing to do but to stand with them when they do it.”

Dr. Jeyakumar is currently under detention without trial under the Emergency Ordinance 1969. He was detained on Jul 2 together with. PSM deputy chairperson, M Saraswathy, PSM central committee members, Choo Chon Kai and M Sukumaran, PSM Sungai Siput branch secretary, A Letchumanan and PSM youth leader Sarat Babu.

“All 6 deserves our support and love - more so at this time”, Christopher said. “Please do take some time to reflect and pray for Dr Jeyakumar and the rest to have the strength.”

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