Tuesday, September 30, 2008

J B Jeyaretnam has passed away

Jan 5, 1926 - Sept 30, 2008

See my blogposts In Memoriam: Photos of JBJ & JBJ's indomitable spirit lives on

I first received an sms today morning from a friend about the passing of JBJ. I couldn't believe it. I was praying it was not true. Confirmation came via SDP's website,
J B Jeyaretnam has passed away

The SDP has received information that Mr Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam has died. He passed away in the hospital this morning apparently of a heart attack.

Mr Jeyaretnam was in court arguing a case up until yesterday. After a week of cross-examining a witness, he said that he was tired and wanted to rest. He passed away this morning. His body is at the Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

We will update readers as and when we receive more information. The Singapore Democrats mourn the heartbreaking loss.
I've known JBJ since my Think Centre days. Worked with him and been with him on many occasions over the years. The last i spoke to him was about a month or two ago.

I had called to arrange a to see him 'cos it had been quite awhile since i visited him. When he answered the phone, the usual booming voice greeted me cheerfully. That visit never materialised 'cos i ended up being tied down with other things. Thinking of that now brings tears to my eyes.

From a CNA report,
Former opposition MP and former Secretary-General of the Workers' Party, Mr JB Jeyaretnam died of heart failure early Tuesday.

He was 82-years-old.

His son Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam told Channel NewsAsia that Mr Jeyaretnam, who had a pre-existing heart condition, had complained of breathing difficulties at about 1.30am on Tuesday.

He was rushed to Tan Tock Seng Hospital but doctors were unable to revive him.

He died of heart failure with both his sons, Kenneth and Philip, by his side.

The family later said in a statement that the family is overwhelmed with grief and will make further announcements after the necessary arrangements have been made.

According to the statment from both his sons, Mr Jeyaretnam had spent his last hours at the Evelyn Road apartment of his son Kenneth.

"Earlier this evening he and I had enjoyed a light dinner and chatted and then he sat out on the balcony for a while before retiring."

The statement went on to say that the family was woken up at about 1:30am by Mr Jeyaretnam who was "obviously in distress" and was rushed to hospital.

"But unfortunately the medical team working on him were unable to revive him despite their lengthy and strenuous attempts. My brother Philip joined me at the hospital and we were then informed by the doctor in charge of his care that he had passed away" said the family in their statment which also gave thanks the medical team.


smallvoice585 said...

My 78 year-old illiterate Chinese mother and I are greatly saddened by the death of the dear JBJ. We do not know him personally and had never seen him in person, but this is the first time that we are deeply affected by the death of a politician. This speaks volumes about the love many people have for him. If anyone is to be called a hero in Singapore, I think he is the only one who can ever be qualified. Dear JBJ, thanks for all the years of ungrudging and dedicated service to the cause of justice in Singapore. We'll miss you. I wish to apologise to you that even up to this minute, no one else in Singapore has the courage and sincerity to do the right thing. We as a nation are not worthy of your sacrifices. But please rest in peace!

Red Lotus Good Friend said...

To the family and supporters of JBJ,

I am surprised and suddened by JBJ's death.
It's hard to have another JBJ in Singapore.
Just wonder how LKY feels - did he ever have that slight feeling of loneliness?
I am glad Singapore has JBJ.