KUALA LUMPUR, 3 Nov 2008: Tributes came pouring in for Gerakan vice-president Datuk Dr S Vijayaratnam who was found dead in front of his clinic in Seremban today.
Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, in expressing shock over the sudden death of Vijayaratnam, 58, hailed him as a true Malaysian and a committed comrade of the party.
In a statement, the former Penang chief minister said he regarded Vijayaratnam as a dedicated and loyal leader of the party since 1980 and that the Gerakan vice-president had frequently contributed articles to the media to articulate the party’s ideology and stand on various issues of national concern.
Vijayaratnam was found dead in front of his clinic at the Vijaya Mahal building in Jalan Tunku Hassan, Seremban, at 12.15 pm today.
He is believed to have fallen from the third floor of the building which he owned. Police have classified the case as sudden death.
Meanwhile, Gerakan advisor Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik said he was shocked to hear of Vijayaratnam’s passing as he was a well-liked person and a disciplined party leader who got on well with all members.
“He was elected as one of the party leaders for three consecutive terms. He is a true Malaysian who fought for everyone regardless of race and religion. We are very proud to have had a leader like him,” he told Bernama when contacted.
Selangor Gerakan chief Senator A Kohilan Pillay said that with the passing of Vijayaratnam, Gerakan had lost a strong leader of calibre.
“His demise is a great loss to the party, community and nation, especially at this critical time. He was undoubtedly a strong leader with principles to the very end. He suffered a lot to protect and preserve this.
“His deep devotion, boundless energy, limitless love, simplicity and religious life as well as sincere service to the people are well known to every Malaysian,” said Kohilan Pillay, who is deputy plantation industries and commodities minister. — Bernama