Rare Parkinson's Heroes Who Changed the World
Mr. Lloyd Tan is the icon and hero of the Parkinson's community. His spirit lives in us forever. Let us feel his energy as he guides us to live with Parkinson's, reaches out to us to give hope and inspiration.

The great teacher in a President

While the common people call it a “double-happiness”, a medical doctor like me prefers the term “double-hit” phenomenon.

This is how I describe the Parkinson’s support group meeting at Hong Kong back in 2001. It was such a great coincidence and blessing that during that meeting, I had met for the first time, the two greatest Parkinson’s patients in Malaysia. They were Mr. Lloyd Tan Pao Chan (the founding father and Life President of the MPDA) and Mr. Chee Liew Seong (the past President of the MPDA). Retrospectively, what made that meeting truly unique was the very fact that I did not realize that both of them would eventually become my own great teachers.

Right from the meeting with Mr. Chee at Hong Kong, I was already struck by one of his special characteristics – his smile.

Unlike other Parkinson’s patients who had difficulty revealing their facial expression, Mr. Chee had always a “complete” smile. For some people who do not know much about him, they may say that he could easily smile because his illness was not that severe, or he had always “intentionally tried” to smile. However, I beg to differ. Right from the first time I met Mr. Chee, I was already convinced that his smile was “natural and loving”.

I am sure that at this juncture, you must be wondering: why in the world am I so “obsessed” by Mr. Chee’s smile?

I have always believed that a smile does reflect, to a certain degree, someone’s personality or inner self. You can tell by just one glance that some dishonest people have fake or artificial smile. But of course, I am not trying to say that we can read everyone like a book by just looking at their smile. Usually, we can only pass our “final judgment” regarding someone’s personality after knowing that person reasonably well.

However, in Mr. Chee’s case, it was totally different from many other people. Just by his smile alone, I could tell with certainty that he was a loving and caring person by nature. And I could “read” him right simply because he also had a very outward and obvious honesty. And I am happy to tell everyone that I have been “accurate” in interpreting his smile and wonderful personality right from the very first day at I met him.

It is interesting that Mr. Chee’s unique smile also works wonder in other ways. I have always been amused whenever some people have often mistakenly addressed Mr. Chee as “Dr. Chee”. I don’t think I am exaggerating when I tell you that Mr. Chee’s smile resembles that of a “Professor in Medicine”. You would certainly agree with me on this statement especially if I tell you that, compared with all the Parkinson’s patient in Malaysia, Mr Chee has the reputation of being the most knowledgeable in every aspect of Parkinson’s Disease (PD).

He bothers to read everything about PD because of two reasons. Firstly, he always loves to impart medical knowledge on PD on other patients, with the aim of making life better for them. Secondly, and obviously, he belongs to the old generation teacher who always believes in dedication and commitment in teaching.

Thus it is no wonder that whenever Mr. Chee goes to my clinic, he “educates” me on all about his medications (effectiveness, side effects and schedule) in great details, rather than the other way round – “reverse consultation”.

So, you can see that Mr. Chee has all the essential criteria of a great teacher – loving, caring, honesty, knowledgeable, dedication and commitment, which made him a great President.

On behalf of the entire Parkinson’s community in Malaysia, I would like to extend my extreme gratitude to our beloved President for all his wonderful characteristics and contribution. We also hope that Mrs. Chee and all her children will always be blessed in their life.

On my part, I truly doubt that we can ever find anyone else in this country who can emulate the success of Mr. Chee Liew Seong.

The great President and the “First Lady” – Mr. and Mrs. Chee Liew Seong at Taman Tasik, Petaling Jaya (28th Nov 2004).