KUALA LUMPUR: A mentor and a close friend. That is how former health minister Datuk Chua Jui Meng will always be remembered by MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
Dr Wee paid his last respects to Chua at the wake service held at the Kuala Lumpur Full Gospel Assembly Church yesterday.
“I got to know him in 1993 and he served as one of my most important early mentors in politics,” he told reporters.
He said that he would always be grateful to Chua for the lessons that the latter had taught him when he was still new to politics.
“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,” he said.
Dr Wee also reminisced about the contributions that Chua had made for the country and the close friendship they shared for over 30 years.
“I will forever miss him as both a dear leader and a close friend. I know that he will forever be remembered as both the longest serving and greatest health minister in the history of our country,” he said.
A former MCA vice-president, Chua was the country’s longest-serving health minister – for nine years – from 1995 to 2004.
He passed away at Hospital Serdang on Sunday after he was hospitalised following a heart attack from the previous week. He was 80.
Chua leaves behind his wife, Honey Wong Nyet Lan, and five children.