Malaysiakini NEWS

Dr Jeyakumar's solitary political journey

S Thayaparan  |  Published:  |  Modified:

'In the realm of ideas everything depends on enthusiasm... in the real world all rests on perseverance.'

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I approach politics and politicians with great skepticism. In Malaysia, where race and politics are intimately entwined, one quickly learns that race-blind altruism is a commodity in short supply.

Dr Michael Jeyakumar is an anomaly among politicians. He is a recently elected member of parliament who subscribes to an antiquated leftist ideology (at least here in Malaysia), routinely demonised by the religious right and scorned by the hardcore capitalists who dominate the mainstream discourse.

Yet, he is someone who has earned the respect of grassroots-level participants from both sides of the political divide.

The real work of serving the people happens far from the corridors of Putrajaya and in Sungai Siput where Jeyakumar in 2008 prevailed over the bellicose S Samy Vellu, president of the MIC.

This country doctor and his team of four full-time staff and eight volunteers work in relative obscurity attempting to forge a new political and social paradigm, one with roots both in grassroots-level activism and macro-level political and social change...

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