Datuk Chua Jui Meng is the longest serving Minister of Health since independence from 1990 to 2004. His post as Minister of Health was succeeded by Datuk Chua Soi Lek. Chua born on 22 October 1943 received his early education from Johore.
Before he entered politics and joined Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) in 1976, he was a lawyer at the Inner Temple which is one of the four Inns of Court. Two years later, in 1978, he was elected to represent MCA Tanjung in Muar division.
Later on in 1986, Chua was elected as a member of parliament for Bakri whereby he managed to hold the seat for five consecutive terms (22 years). Fourth Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir Mohammad promoted him as Parliament Secretary to the Minister of Health. Subsequently, he even managed to emerge as MCA’s Vice President after winning the party election in 1990.
In line with his winning as MCA’s new Vice President, he was also promoted to become Deputy Minister of International Trade & Industry in the same year and finally headed Minister of Health in 1995.
During economic crisis in 1997, a number of Malaysian small and medium industries (SMI) were pulled down and suffered major loss. Thus, government established SMI fund to assist Bumiputra SMIs. Chua and several other ministries held a dialogue together with one thousand Chinese businessmen. As a result, SMI Fund was made available for all races. Later on, the establishment of National SMI Consultative Centre (NASMIC) appointed Datuk Chua as the chairman.
After years serving for MCA, Datuk Chua Jui Meng jumped party to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) on 18 July 2009. According to Chua, his main purpose for joining PKR is to preserve and maintain two-party system as a result from 2008 election. He also added that sudden death of PR political aide, Teoh Beng Hock triggered him to join PKR. Coincidently, former MCA Senator Datuk David Yeoh and former Lumut MP Datuk Yap Yit Thong also announced their decision to join PKR following Chua’s footsteps.