I hope all of you are having a good Raya break.
But let us remember our Muslim brother undergoing detention without trial, in Kamunting or elsewhere.
I wish all Muslim readers a joyous celebration with their loved ones and friends.
Blog reader RastamanJB shares with us how as a stranger, he met and got to know the legendary J B Jeyaretnam:
I met him many times at the Kerala Reastaurant, Jalan Ibrahim, JB, and chatted with him about his WP.
He was a man worth his salt. His steadfastness and righteousness was there for all to see. It is a shame that we do not have anyone, and I repeat anyone, on both sides of the border to match him.
He was a very approachable person and talked to anyone who acknowledged him. A simple man, with his trade mark side-burns, collared T-shirts and short pants and sandals… popped into JB very often for his thosai and air suam.
My first encounter with him was in the late 1980s at the Kerala outlet and I was sort of mesmerised to start a conversation with him. However, the many repeated encounters somewhat thawed my anxiety and thereafter we were familiar to each other. He would always address me, “Hello, young man”, and I would call him “Sir” and our conversation would usually centre on the political happenings of our countries.
Can I equate him with Karpal? No, he was a few notches above him. Can I equate him with D R Seenivasagam? Yes, he was as fearless as DRS, a fighter at that.
I also had the misfortune to meet up with him after the demise of his wife – and that was the only time he was at his lowest. His eyes welled with tears as he spoke to me of his only love. He really felt bad for her and regretted that he did not do enough for her. It was a moment that has stood memorably for me thus far.
He advised me repeatedly to stop my smoking habit. He told me that LKY was an incorrigible smoker during the 60s and eventually became a non-smoker. I will never forget his fatherly advice tho’ I still puff away.
I feel privileged to have befriended a LEGEND who was a simpleton fighting for the masses.
And he never expected any returns.
May his soul rest in peace.
Aliran member Wong Kok Keong adds:
It is truly a sad occasion to face the passing of such a gentle soul with an unshakable sense of justice and a mighty heart. But it is just as heartening to know that everyone who has written here has only kind words for JBJ. He deserves them all. Whether the PAP government and LKY appreciate him or not speaks of their humanity. For JBJ did his best and gave his all. He should be resting well in peace now.