A life devoted to his fellow human beings

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The late Dr M K Rajakumar was an outstanding human being who left his mark on the history of our people’s struggle for a society worthy of all human beings, says Dr Lim Hock Siew.

To someone who has been very close to Rajakumar, it is very difficult to accept that he has finally left us.

Two years ago, we were immensely relieved when he miraculously survived a severe bout of pneumonia but regrettably this time his weakened constitution could not withstand yet another bout of the disease.

Raja has lived a full and meaningful life in the way he has always wanted – a life devoted not to himself but his fellowmen.

Raja was one of the prime movers in the formation of the University Socialist Club in 1953 and he has always been a leading member of the socialist movement in our country. He had the honour of being charged for sedition by the British colonial government of Singapore in 1954. That experience inspired him and his comrades to greater efforts to free our country from foreign rule.

Unlike the majority of his contemporaries at the University, who were mainly occupied with securing their own degrees and their own future, Raja was concerned primarily with our country and our people – and their future.

I remember those days when we discussed, till late into the night, how to free our country from foreign rule and to establish a united democratic society where all our people could live in peace and harmony in a just and fair society. It was an objective for which Raja was prepared to dedicate and sacrifice his life. We had no one to guide us but our conscience and our love for our fellowmen.

Much has happened in our society since those days over 50 years ago, but much more remains to be done. Raja had always maintained a positive and optimistic attitude towards our future.

Age had certainly not withered his ideals and beliefs. If anything, he had become even more resolute in his convictions. His views and advice were eagerly sought by those who valued his incisive mind and analytical thinking, and he remained to the very end deeply committed to the welfare of the common person.

Heart filled with gold

Raja’s intellectual integrity was beyond question. He rejected all personal awards and honours, and courageously expressed his views without rancour.

Two years ago, even when he was seriously ill in hospital, he spoke up against the rising wave of racialism in our country and warned of the possibility of Malaysia becoming a second Cyprus.

Raja’s contribution to society extended beyond the political arena. He was an eminent physician and helped to advance the standard of primary health care in our country. He was the President of WONCA, an international organisation of primary care physicians. Besides being invited to the National University of Malaya to lecture on primary health care, he was also invited to China to advise on improving health care in that vast country.

Raja applied to his private medical practice his philosophy of life. Although medical practice could be a most lucrative profession, Raja decided to fill his heart and not his pocket with gold. Thus he became a busy and dedicated doctor who was financially the poorest.

Raja has left behind three most lovable children – Sunita, Kiren and Arjuna. To them, may I say that your papa has left you not pots of gold but something more valuable than material wealth – his philosophy of life, his outlook on life that will bring more meaning and happiness to your lives.

You all have a papa whom you can be very proud of – an outstanding human being who has left his mark on the history of our people’s struggle for a society that is worthy of all human beings.

Take comfort that your profound loss is deeply shared by all of us who had the privilege of being closely associated with your papa.

Please regard me, my wife, Beatrice, and all other close comrades and friends of your papa, people like Soo Kai, Jomo, Syed Husin, Sakti and Kok Keong, and many others, as members of your family.

This was a letter sent by Dr Lim Hock Siew to Dr Rajakumar’s family on the occasion of a memorial service held on 30 November 2008.

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