This is a testimony from a colleague of Dr Jeyakumar from Sarawak:
From Dr Francis HH Ngu
YB Dr Michael Jeyakumar is known to me when he was a junior officer at Sarawak General Hospital, where I was Acting Medical Superintendent (1983-1987).
Even then he was most outstanding as a Government Officer of uncommon social responsibility, providing patient service unflinchingly regardless of heavy workloads. Indeed he showed his concern for patients well beyond his immediate patient care responsibilities at SGH.
I recall that as a junior Medical Officer at SGH, he actively canvassed for :
1. The safety and comfort of patients on long boat journeys, while on referral from Kapit district hospital to Sibu Hospital;
2. Injured workers timely entitlements under the Workers Compensation Scheme; especially timely and more just awards by Medical Boards to injured workers ;
3. The legislatively prescribed responsibilities of SOCSO in the rehabilitation of permanently disabled workers, and weakness of SOCSO thereof.
4. The occupational safety of mostly Dayak logging workers in Sarawak, or rather, lack thereof.
This is all the more remarkable as he comes from a comfortable upper middle class family in Penang.
I was disappointed in myself for having failed in my effort to recommend him for “Perkhidmatan Cemerlang” award.
Nonetheless, he was a personal inspiration to me, and he will always be such.
I have no doubt that it is a highest level of humanity which made him not just a physician, but an uncommon one. He has dedicated the last 3-4 decades of his life as much to his Dayak patients in Sarawak as to the Indian plantation workers, both groups being the marginalised of the marginalised in Malaysian society.
His humanity finds expression in his leadership of Malaysian Socialists.
While I may not agree with all the elements of his socialist programs, my heart is with him as he earns political persecution upon himself, instead of recognition from the powers that be.