Tributes pour in for former health minister Chua Jui Meng

KUALA LUMPUR: Tributes poured in for former health minister Datuk Chua Jui Meng who died at the age of 80 today.

The current and former members of parliament (MPs), cabinet ministers and political leaders expressed their condolences on their respective X and Facebook accounts.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said wrote: "Condolences to the family of Datuk Chua Jui Meng, former health minister and Bakri MP.""

Subang MP Wong Chen wrote: "My very deepest condolences to his family and friends."

Segamat MP R. Yuneswaran wrote: "He (Chua) was one of the factors that led me to be active in Keadilan (PKR) as early as 2008.

"I served as the working secretary during his time as the state leadership council chairman in 2012.

"He has contributed a lot to the health ministry sector as well as the country's politics," he said, adding that he met the late Chua for lunch in Segamat on Oct 28.

Former Klang MP Charles Santiago said: "Deepest condolences to the family. His contributions will be remembered. May his soul RIP."

Former transpor minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said: "I had known him for 30 years and he was one of my early mentors in MCA."

"He was a charismatic leader and an eloquent speaker who always backed up his speech with facts and figures.

"His contributions to the country will be remembered by the people.

"Even though he left MCA in 2008 after the 12th General Election to join PKR, our friendship remained.

In April 2002, before I became an MP, my daughter Joan was admitted to the emergency ward of Hospital Sultanah Aminah in Johor Baru for an emergency surgery due to duodenal ulcer.

"He understood very well the feelings my wife and I had as parents and updated us regularly on my daughter's condition. My family and I are forever grateful for his kind gesture.

"May you rest in peace, Datuk Chua."

Former health deputy-general Dr Christopher Lee wrote: "I recall my first encounter with him when I had to brief him about the protease inhibitors which were the new HIV drugs then.

"He listened and actually took notes. He increased the HIV treatment budget then to get more patients onto therapy.

"For that I am grateful. RIP, sir."

Chua served as the health minister from 1995 to 2004, and is thus far the longest serving health minister.

A MCA spokesman said Chua suffered a heart attack about a week ago and had been hospitalised since then.

A lawyer by profession, he served Barisan Nasional's second biggest component party for 35 years, before jumping ship to PKR in 2009.

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