BY LOOI SUE-CHERN | TMI
April 17, 2014
Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh, who died in an accident early this morning, was in Kuala Lumpur to visit his son Gobind Singh Deo who was ill.
A distraught Gobind said he was informed of the accident at 2.15am today, and he and his wife rushed to the scene where he saw his father’s mangled car and his father’s body.
“My brother Ramkarpal was in the car with our father. He was slightly injured. He had scratches and bruises.
“However, my father’s assistant Michael Cornelius Selvam Velly, 39, was also killed. He was seated behind my father,” he said when met at the mortuary at the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital in Ipoh.
Karpal’s driver escaped with light injuries but the late MP’s maid is said to be in critical condition. The lorry driver was not injured in the accident.
Asked what Karpal had said to him during his visit, Gobind said: “He said many things.”
Gobind, however, was unable to tell the press what they were.
“There are so many things that are on my mind right now. Maybe I will talk about them later,” he said.
Gobind said his father’s funeral will either be on Saturday evening or Sunday morning, to provide sufficient time for the relatives from overseas to pay their respects.
Karpal, who would have turned 74 in June, was believed to have been travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Penang to attend a court hearing scheduled this morning.
Police said the multipurpose vehicle was badly-damaged after losing control following a collision with a lorry near Gua Tempurung in Perak at 12.40am this morning.
Police said Karpal died on the spot.
Gobind, who is also Puchong MP, said the family expects to be able to bring his father’s body home to Penang by 10.30am, after the post-mortem wraps up at the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital today.
He told reporters that the family is grateful to well-wishers who have offered their sympathies and support.
Gobind also asked for his family to be given privacy during this time but promised that they will keep the people informed with regular updates.
Meanwhile, Batu Kawan MP P. Kasthuriraani said Karpal was a funny man with an incredible wit and humour.
“It is the funniest thing… a man thought to be so serious was actually full of humour,” she said.
She recalled how Karpal had answered his wife Gurmit Kaur when she asked if he could throw a coconut during a Thaipusam celebration outside his house in Penang.
Breaking coconuts at the festival is a tradition to fulfil vows.
“He answered ‘of course I can throw the coconut but I can’t say if it will break or not’.
“He would make one-line jokes. He could take a jab at anyone in Parliament. When he speaks, people pay attention,” she said.
Kasthuriraani, a first-time MP whose seat is next to Karpal’s in Parliament, said the veteran politician was like a father to her.
He called her “girl” and she always addressed him as “uncle”.
“I have known him since I was a child.
“I do not know how to face it after this when I look at the seat next to mine. He won’t be there anymore,” she said.
Kasthuriraani said she saw Karpal last week at Parliament when Pakatan Rakyat MPs staged a walkout following the house’s refusal to debate on the judiciary regarding opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy conviction.
The sole MCA assemblyman in Perak Datuk Dr Mah Han Soon of Chenderiang was also at the mortuary.
He said he did not know Karpal well but respected his stand on the hudud issue particularly.
“He is a man of principle. It is a great loss to the political scene,” said the Perak MCA chief. – April 17, 2014.