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

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Remembering Mr JB Jeyaretnam

Posted by jbjmemorial on October 1, 2008

COMPILED BY ESTHER NG, JESSICA YEOAND ONG DAI LIN

MR TEO SER LUCK,SENIOR PARL SEC, (COMMunityDEVELOPMENT, YOUTH AND SPORTS):

“As a young boy, I was impressed with his delivery on TV. JBJ added a lot of colour; he brought a different approach to issues inparliamentary debates. We won’t see this kind of Opposition figure any more — that era is gone. He was special.”

 

MR CHARLES CHONG,MP FOR PASIR RIS-PUNGGOL GRC:

“I remember him in Parliament when he was a NCMP — he’d seem very docile but every time MM (Lee Kuan Yew) walked into the chambers, it was as if a bell had gone off in his head. He would be pumped up like a boxer, getting ready to slug it out with the MM.

“He suffered for his convictions. He did what he believed was right. You could say he served as an outlet for a certain section of the population who did not see eye to eye with the ruling party. I hope members of the Opposition would be as passionate as he was and motivated to take his place.”

 

MR ZAINUL ABIDIN RASHEED,SENIOR MINISTER OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS, WHO WAS PART OF THE PAP TEAM THAT BEAT THE WORKERS’ PARTY TEAM IN CHENG SAN GRC IN 1997:

“JBJ and his supporters thought they had won and asked for a re-count. They refused toaccept the result. We were on stage to give our victory speech when JBJ came on stage, his eyes blazing at us.

“The WP supporters were making a lot of noise. I almost thought it was going to be a riot … I told them let’s cool down, all of us here are Singaporeans, and they did. I could see a sense of relief on JBJ’s face.

“After that, JBJ and I became friends. I met him last month and asked why he won’t take things easy, but he laughed and said he had not achieved his mission. He’s a son of Singapore who believed in what he was doing.We may differ in our approach, but I respect him.”

 

DR TAN CHENG BOCK,MP FOR AYER RAJAH FROM 1980 TO 2006:

“I remember him coming into Parliament in 1981. He was always alone. As parliamentarians, it didn’t matter which party you were from, we would try to make friends but he was too caught up with his cause and didn’t care too much about establishing friendships.”

 

MR TAN SOO KHOON,FORMER SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT:

“He was very persistent in pursuing issues he wanted to raise, for example, freedom of speech which he would doggedly go about at every opportunity. He has to be respected for his perseverance. He stood for four elections before he finally found a seat.”

 

Mr SHRINIWAS RAI, LAWYER, FORMER NMP:

“He would fight to the end for his client. There was this case where someone was charged for corruption and he asked me to help out. I was surprised to learn that, as a senior lawyer, he was charging the client half the price. But he succeeded in getting the client acquitted.”

 

Mr SIMON TAY, FORMER NMP:

“He was a man of courage and conviction. Events scarred him but he held his head high. When he spoke in Parliament, it was hard as a lone voice. But he persisted from a belief that others might support what he said. “I remember one motion he raised to consider the reform of defamation law, which I surprised him by supporting. He had a personal history and reasons for that motion which I did not share. But I did agree with his overall idea.”

 

MRS SARAS SANKAI, 50ADMIN EXEC and FORMER ANSON VOTER:

“I think it was good for someone to question things. When he was elected, many changes took place in the ward. If there had been no Opposition in the ward, I don’t think the changes would have been be so rapid.”

 

JEMIMAH TSOI, 21:

“He was a very outspoken guy. Maybe if he’d been more subtle, he might’ve had more success as an Opposition member.”

 

Source: TODAY

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