Archive for April 18th, 2014

Kit Siang drapes comrade’s casket with DAP flag

by Looi Sue-Chern
The Malaysian Insider
April 18, 2014

It was a sombre, moving scene at the home of Karpal Singh this afternoon as veteran DAP leader Lim Kit Siang draped the party flag over the casket of his “brother-in-arms” in honour of the former chairman’s 44-year crusade for the opposition party.

Kit Siang, who brought along an old record book of the party, said that Karpal joined DAP during the “darkest hours” of the nation and the party on December 28, 1970. Read the rest of this entry »


The Economist: Karpal was rare gem of Malaysian politics

APRIL 18, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 — Since his shocking death yesterday, the late Karpal Singh has been called “friend” by many that others would have thought to be irreconcilable foes.

At an emotive scene at the lawmaker’s home in Penang hours after his death, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin consoled a distraught Gobind Singh Deo, Karpal’s second son, when he went to pay his respects to the family.

Before that, contemporary and regular rival Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu had described the Bukit Gelugor MP as “good friend”, despite regularly crossing swords with Karpal when he had still been MIC president.

“Karpal Singh, who died in a car accident in the early hours of April 17th at the age of 74, was a rarity in the venomous world of Malaysian politics: a man respected by many of his opponents as well as those on his own side,” according to an obituary by The Economist today.

In the tribute titled “Burning Bright”, it noted that once-bitter rivals have lined to honour the man known as the “Tiger of Jelutong”, even those who tasted the acerbic sting of his tongue. Read the rest of this entry »


One of modern Malaysia’s great men

By P Gunasegaram | Malaysiakini
Apr 18, 2014

Taking an overview of his own tempestuous life, Karpal Singh believes he has been able to achieve more via the law than he has as the perennial hardball opposition DAP politician. – author Tim Donoghue in his book, ‘Karpal Singh, Tiger of Jelutong.

QUESTION TIME It seems like he has been in politics forever but it was in law where he made his mark first. History will likely remember him more for his achievements in that arena and the truly tireless efforts he made towards the cause of human rights and equality, the last nine years in a wheelchair.

The cruel hands of fate may have dealt Karpal Singh a double blow, making him a tetraplegic in a car accident in 2005 and then, after he courageously made a life for himself following that tragedy, the accident early yesterday morning where he lost his life.

But it can’t ever take away the many achievements he made in his full and varied life, overcoming great obstacles and odds to make a significant positive difference to this country, making him one of modern Malaysia’s greatest men and a patriot.

It was in 1978 that Karpal stepped firmly into the national political arena, winning the Parliamentary seat of Jelutong in Penang. He held it for 21 years, lost in 1999 but was returned as MP for Bukit Gelugor in 2004, retaining the seat in the two subsequent elections of 2008 and 2013.

Last year, for my birthday, a friend of mine gave me a copy of the book, ‘Karpal Singh, Tiger of Jelutong’, a biography by New Zealand journalist Tim Donoghue who first met Karpal in 1987. Karpal was representing New Zealand mother and son Lorraine and Aaron Cohen in a drug trafficking case but was himself in detention under the infamous Internal Security Act at the time used by Dr Mahathir Mohamad to detain over 100 people under his Operation Lallang.

I put the book away then for another day but last night I pulled it out and stayed up to read it, coming up with a new and fresh appreciation of the man who I already admired tremendously for his guts, gumption and zeal in battling an increasingly corrupt, arrogant and authoritarian Barisan Nasional government at great cost to himself and his family. Read the rest of this entry »

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Karpal Singh – Fearless Tiger, Freedom Fighter

By Pauline Fan | MMO
April 18, 2014

The death of Karpal Singh marks the passing of a people’s hero.

A larger-than-life figure on the troubled terrain of Malaysia’s political landscape, Karpal hailed from a generation who were unafraid to fight for what they believe in and who summoned unflinching tenacity to see their principles through to the bitter end.

A fiercely uncompromising warrior for social justice and human freedom, Karpal embodied what is most brave and noble in the Malaysian spirit. He showed us time and again that we are made of sterner stuff than the communalism and factionalism that has come to dominate our national politics in recent decades.

There was much about Karpal that was iconic — his bristly white beard; his keen eyes aflame with wit and idealism; his warm, fatherly smile; his arm outstretched in defiance; his trademark phrase, ‘Jangan main-main’.

In a political career with the Democratic Action Party (DAP) that spanned eight terms in Parliament and four terms as state assemblyman in Kedah and Penang, as well as a year-and-a-half of detention without trial under the Internal Security Act (ISA), Karpal was the consummate opposition leader. Read the rest of this entry »

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From Air Itam, memories of ‘Karpal’s coffee shop’

By Opalyn Mok |MMO
April 18, 2014

GEORGE TOWN, April 18 — In the working-class neighbourhood of Air Itam in Penang’s Bukit Gelugor constituency, the Ju Huat Coffee Shop is just another local eatery in a city famous for its food.

But locals call it by another moniker — “Karpal’s coffee shop”.

This was the coffee shop they went to if they wanted to seek the help of Karpal Singh, the veteran lawyer-politician who was killed in a road accident early yesterday.

Ju Huat Coffee Shop has been since 2008 Karpal’s chosen venue for holding press conferences and meeting voters.

Coffee shop owner Tan Bak Chooi, 50, said Karpal has probably held hundreds of press conferences at his coffee shop.

“He used to have press conferences once or twice a month here and he would always call us before he comes so that we will prepare a parking spot for him and get the tables arranged,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Karpal’s last words in Parliament

By Aidila Razak | Malaysiakini
Apr 18, 2014

Karpal Singh is best known for his fiery speeches in the Dewan Rakyat, earning him the moniker the ‘Tiger of Jelutong’. Even during his last appearance in a parliamentary debate, the 74-year-old wheelchair-bound MP didn’t disappoint.

“The Honourable Speaker should not play around with the (Federal) Constitution. Follow the Constitution. This is the supreme law of the land, not the Standing Orders.

“Standing orders can be suspended. There are provisions (for that), discretion can be used. Why are you not using your discretion?

“This is the second time the conduct of judges is raised in this House. I had (before) moved a motion against… the former chief justice Zaki Azmi (left). Nothing happened. Why?

“Why is this House afraid of judges? Are we afraid to debate about judges’ conduct? So what am I saying… (is) don’t play around (with the Constitution),” said Karpal, igniting an uproar in the House. Read the rest of this entry »

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Karpal Singh, a man for true believers of justice

APRIL 18, 2014

As I sat here at my home in Penang at 4 am in the morning of April 17, 2014, waiting for my driver to come and pick me up to go to the Ipoh Hospital, I felt numb by the shocking news relayed to my wife Betty through my sister Hui Ying an hour earlier. I had gone to bed early as I was unwell and was still groggy when the import of her words sunk in.

DAP national chairman Karpal Singh, who meant so much to us, was gone. A man filled with such vitality, brilliance and energy was no more. A leader who gave forth so much strength, vision and guidance had left us.

A true friend in our darkest days whether in the depths of prison cells or the abyss of electoral defeat had departed. A loving father and an even more loving husband had suddenly passed away on the early hours of this terrible, rainy April 17, 2014.

As the messages and tweets on the handphone flashed back and forth, scattering my thoughts everywhere, I could not find the words to describe my acute sense of loss. DAP leaders are shaken because it was so sudden and unexpected. Karpal left before his time when he still had so much to contribute.

I will miss hearing the cheer in Karpal’s voice, the optimism that comes from doing the right thing and the fighting spirit no matter highly impossible the odds. But I can still hear Karpal’s voice – undaunted and forthright with a deep sense of humanity. Read the rest of this entry »

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Karpal Singh left his mark on Malaysian law, say legal experts

APRIL 18, 2014

In a legal career spanning almost half a century, the late Karpal Singh contributed immensely to the development of Malaysian criminal and civil law with nearly 600 citations in the Malaysian Law Journal, say fellow legal minds.

They told The Malaysian Insider that the prominent legal eagle, who died in a road accident yesterday, could do this as he was a versatile lawyer who argued and tested cases in court.

They also said that Karpal had the advantage of pointing out why certain laws were inapplicable and needed further amendment as he could also lobby for change in Parliament.

Karpal was also a perfect role model for any aspiring law student because he possessed qualities required of a fearless advocate, they added.

Penang-based lawyer Datuk K. Kumaraendran, who started practice at the same time as Karpal, said the lawyer-cum-politician took up cases that involved the burden of proof.

“In the interest of justice, he developed the law because there was uncertainty over the issue of innocent until proven guilty,” said Kumaraendan, who appeared together with Karpal in many criminal cases in the late 70s and early 80s.

Karpal was also a pioneer in taking up drug trafficking and habeas corpus cases, added Kumaraendan, who started his legal career in Alor Star together with the late lawyer. Read the rest of this entry »

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10 things about: Karpal Singh, The Tiger of Jelutong

By Zurairi AR
The Malay Mail Online
April 18, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 — For many who had the pleasure of meeting him, the late Karpal Singh was an approachable statesman and lawyer who had a time for everyone who sought his counsel.

The man has been dubbed “a friend to the oppressed and marginalised” was killed in a road accident in the early hours of Thursday. A previous road accident had already left him in a wheel chair.

Karpal was the MP for Jelutong for 21 years. At his death, he was the MP for Bukit Gelugor, having held the seat since 2004.

The DAP veteran left behind five children, four grandchildren, and his wife of over 40 years, Gurmit Kaur.

Here are ten choice quotes from his 44 years in the legal and political arena: Read the rest of this entry »

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The life and times of Karpal Singh: A fighter to the very end

By Zurairi AR
The Malay Mail Online
April 18, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 — Karpal Singh, the veteran opposition politician, died in a car crash early this morning on the way to a court hearing in Penang, forever defining the DAP chairman as a fighter for just cause to the very end.

Despite his reputation as a political institution, the Bukit Gelugor MP thought of himself as more of a lawyer than a politician, as noted in a media interview during his 70th birthday in 2010.

He was survived by five children, four grandchildren, and Gurmit Kaur, his wife of over 40 years.

Here are some of his defining moments in the Tiger of Jelutong’s illustrious career as a lawyer and statesman:


Following the May 13 riots the year before, Karpal joined DAP citing the party’s multiracial political platform.

He had also started his own law firm after being called to the Penang Bar in 1969. Read the rest of this entry »

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Loss of statesman and ‘adab’

– Abdul Haleem Abdul Rahiman
The Malaysian Insider
April 17, 2014

The nation lost a statesman – Karpal Singh. The tragedy is not his death but the death of compassion and “adab” – manners. Are we growing as a nation or merely breeding for sake of God?

Why the religion is used for utter nonsense and moronic theories? Where is the compassion? Does the skullcap on your head make you dumb and dumber?

In my humble opinion, we have bigots in the august house because we lack of men and women with integrity.

The ones with principles. Surely, he is one hell of a man with strong principles. A man who never compromised on his principles. Even if you were going to throw him in jail.

He is gone now. He is not coming back and we are not sure if we’ll see another Malaysian lawyer cum MP as good as him.

Where are your manners when you proudly post those pictures? Be it real or graphics. Don’t you have any shame? Do you call yourself a leader? You are a disgrace. Read the rest of this entry »


Death of a True Son of Malaysia

Kee Thuan Chye
Yahoo! News

The Tiger of Jelutong has died in a road accident. It happened at 1.10am this morning near Kampar on the North-South Expressway. He was on his way to Penang to represent a client in court. To practise the law as he had done for more than four decades. In army parlance, he died with his boots on.

Karpal Singh would surely not have chosen to leave us this way, and would have wanted to continue fighting the great fight for the good of the nation which he did untiringly in politics, but we have to accept that at least he never stopped.

He fought endlessly to uphold democracy and the Federal Constitution as a lawyer and a politician. And for his good work, they shut him away under the Internal Security Act (ISA), charged him with sedition, called him an enemy of Islam.

But he leaves behind a legacy that not only his wife and children can be proud of, but all Malaysians as well.

May he now rest in peace. Read the rest of this entry »

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A promise to insensitive politicians

Dear sirs,

At some point in the future, you will depart from this world, as I will.

It would be a time of intense grief and mourning for your loved ones. During that particular period, I promise not to gleefully gloat over your death. I further give you my word, that I will not claim, that my Maker, unique to my faith, had a hand in it. Although you may not realise it, to do so is despicably cruel and completely unbecoming of any human being. Only a beast or an imbecile would behave in such a manner.

I also promise not to splash your morbid or gory photos in death over the internet, to boost my twitter and facebook ratings. You may not be aware that such a move does not bring fame, only infamy.

In addition, I give you my word that if I can’t find a decent word or two to express my condolences, I shall keep mum. This is because, to condemn you in death would only bring shame to me. I sincerely believe that I am above such behaviour, as most Malaysians are, save for a lunatic fringe of the society. Read the rest of this entry »


Karpal Singh, 17-04-2014: Our Deepest Condolence

by Allan CF Goh


In the screech of an accident,
A flame dies in this incident.
This great flame is called Karpal Singh,
Justice for people, he would sing.
His song will live eternally;
People’s right will triumph finally. Read the rest of this entry »

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