On 5 February, Thangaratnam Thyagarajah passed away in Dubai's Rashid Hospital after he had been there for eight months on a search for business opportunities
Since his death almost two months ago, Thangaratnam’s body has been withheld in the hospital until his widow, Gertrude, can pay his RM150,000 medical expenses
Until the medical bill and repatriation costs are settled, Gertrude will not be able to return her husband's body to their homeland.
With every day that the Penang-born remains in Rashid hospital, his medical expenses increase.
Gertrude is desperate to bring her husband’s body back to Malaysia "for closure for her and her family" and so that they can finally "pay their respects"
Together, Thangaratnam and Gertrude have two children, one of whom is a slow learner.
Gertrude has attempted to approach the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Health Minister and MIC President Subramaniam Sathasivam to ask for their assistance, but she either did not receive a response from them or their attempts have been futile.
"I have no options currently other than the public. They are my hope for now," Gertrude told SAYS.
PPRM President Datuk P. Gunaseelan has launched a fundraiser on Facebook to help Gertrude with the exorbitant medical expenses
According to Datuk P. Gunaseelan's Facebook post, "Madam Gertrude’s plight is a special case as she is a helpless single mother and relevant authorities should have at least shown some empathy towards a fellow Malaysian by speaking to the hospital."
Gertrude said that, in addition to his efforts in raising awareness, Datuk P. Gunaseelan's RM2,000 donation was "the most tangible effort she had seen" and that there was finally "a light of hope".
Datuk P. Gunaseelan, who has been collecting donations for Gertrude since 20 January, said that "people's power is the ultimate power"
Donations can be channelled to Pertubuhan Perkhidmatan Rakyat Malaysia RHB BANK: 21440000023866