KUALA LUMPUR: A mentor and a close friend, that is how Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong will always remember former health minister Datuk Chua Jui Meng.
The MCA president reminisced about not only the significant contributions that Chua had made to the country but also the close friendship they shared for over 30 years after paying his respects to Chua at his wake service held at the Kuala Lumpur Full Gospel Assembly Church here on Wednesday (Dec 6).
He said he would forever be grateful to Chua for the lessons the latter had taught him back when he was still new to politics.
“I got to know him in 1993, and he served as one of my most important early political mentors.
“We established an especially good relationship between 2001 and 2004 after he came to my family's aid when my 16-month daughter fell ill with duodenal ulcer in 2002.
“Almost every hour, he would call me and update me, which left me very touched.
“I will forever miss him as both a dear leader and a close friend, but I know that he will forever be remembered as both the longest-serving and greatest health minister in the history of our country,” he told reporters here.
Being a former MCA vice-president, Chua, 80, had served as the country’s longest-serving health minister – for nine years from 1995 to 2004.
He passed away at Hospital Serdang at 4.04pm on Sunday (Dec 3) after he was hospitalised following a heart attack from the previous week.
He leaves behind his wife, Honey Wong Nyet Lan, and five children.