In remembrance of a Singapore Patriot – Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam (1926 – 2008)

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PM Lee, SM Goh send condolences to JB Jeyaretnam’s family

Posted by jbjmemorial on October 1, 2008

SINGAPORE : Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said he is saddened to learn of JB Jeyaretnam’s death.

In his condolence letter to Mr Jeyaretnam’s sons, Mr Lee said Mr Jeyaretnam and the People’s Action Party (PAP) never saw eye to eye on any major political issue.

And Mr Jeyaretnam sought by all means to demolish the PAP and Singapore’s system of government. Unfortunately this helped neither to build up a constructive opposition nor Singapore’s Parliamentary tradition.

But Mr Lee said one had to respect Mr Jeyaretnam’s dogged tenacity to be active in politics at his age. And such differences were not personal.

For example, Mr Lee said that in 1993, Mr Jeyaretnam’s son Kenneth wrote to then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong to say employers were reluctant to hire him because they felt the authorities would not welcome his employment because of his name.

Mr Goh replied with a letter which could be shown to prospective employers, saying the government did not hold anything against him and employers should evaluate him fairly on his merits.

Mr Goh had previously made the same point to Kenneth’s brother, Philip.

In his condolence letter, Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said that even though he did not agree with Mr Jeyaretnam’s political cause, he respected his fighting spirit to advance it and his willingness to pay a price for it.

While the PAP leaders and the opposition politician had many heated exchanges, Mr Goh said he did not allow such fights to affect Mr Jeyaretnam’s sons’ place in society. – CNA/ms

Source: CNA

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