Chua Jui Meng, an ex-minister, dies


At the age of 80, Datuk Dr. Chua Jui Meng, the health minister with the longest tenure in the nation, passed away. He suffered a heart attack last week and was admitted to the hospital. MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said he had known Chua for thirty years and offered his sympathies.He recounted an event from 2002 in which the former health minister assisted his daughter, who was 16 months old at the time, and described Chua as a very thoughtful and capable minister. “I saw firsthand how carefully he took care of the people. My oldest daughter had a duodenal ulcer in April 2002; she immediately puked blood and was sent to Johor Baru General Hospital. “I was a civilian at the time, not an MP yet. Chua phoned to console me and my wife after learning this. We were close to losing our minds. He also got in touch with an expert team and kept us informed of developments. We will always remember this (my daughter’s) saviour, he posted on Facebook. Dr. Wee continued by saying that Chua was one of his political mentors when he joined MCA and that he frequently offered him guidance and encouragement. He said that their interactions were particularly intense between 2001 and 2003, when MCA acquired Nanyang Press, causing significant rifts among the party leadership. Chua and he were among those who vehemently opposed the transaction. Chua has always been brash, talkative, and curious. He commended the speaker’s eloquence, clarity, and ease of understanding in both Mandarin and English.Chua left MCA to join PKR, but according to Dr. Wee, their friendship stayed strong. He said Chua had devoted his life to serving the people and had led a colourful life. Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon, deputy president of the MCA, sent his sympathies to Chua’s family. He said Chua had been a personal friend who had made significant contributions to the nation and the party.Hassan Karim, a Pasir Gudang MP, expressed how much Chua’s passing hurt PKR, particularly Johor PKR.
Because of all of his accomplishments, Chua holds a particular place in the hearts of Johor PKR. In the 13th General Election, the party gained a state and parliamentary seat for the first time during his tenure, he claimed. Hassan characterised Chua as a diligent individual well-known for his paternal qualities. Chua was the most accommodating minister Zahir Kelvin Ong Abdullah, host of Money Matters, stated. “I recall him as a very cooperative minister who was always willing to make accommodations and fully cooperated with the press. He would always find time to respond to our inquiries. He would respond to all of our inquiries, no matter how many we posed to him,” he stated. Chua served five terms as a Bakri MP and as vice president of the MCA. In the 1970s, he joined MCA as a practising lawyer. Ascending the ranks, he was elected vice-president of the party in 1990. He was elected to the Bakri parliamentary seat in the general election of 1986, and he held it for four more terms until 2008.Chua served in a variety of positions during his tenure in politics, including that of deputy minister of foreign commerce and industry (1990–1995) and parliamentary secretary of the Health Ministry (1989–1990) before being named health minister in 1995–2004. After joining PKR in 2009, Chua left MCA and was named chief of Johor PKR (2009–2014). He ran for the Segamat parliamentary seat in the 2013 general election, but was defeated by S. Subramaniam, the MIC president, by a margin of 1,217 votes.

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