– K.K. Wong
The Malaysian Insider
April 21, 2014
Karpal Singh’s sudden and tragic death is still sinking into the minds of many.
I had the honour of bumping into this great man many years ago in a Bangsar mini market. I remember recognizing him straightaway, but it was he who introduced himself to me. It was this gesture of humility which struck me. He did not take it for granted that everyone should know him.
Karpal Singh has many creditable attributes. To many it was his integrity, his courage, his immense and formidable legal skills which stood him out in the crowd.
There are few who would dare to fight from a position of nothing and yet Karpal Singh did it knowing that he had all the odds stacked against him. He stood firmly for justice and the truth. He was prepared to speak out for what he believed in against a greater authority in many instances of legal confrontations in his career.
He was armed not with power for which he had none, but only with his tremendous and deep legal knowledge, his integrity, his principle for justice and his wit.
The Malaysian Parliament would be a less colourful place in the absence of Karpal Singh. He will be missed by many, including, I am sure, his opponents.
Whilst many may not agree with him, it cannot be denied that Karpal stood for fair play and a principle of true harmony in Malaysia with a firm belief of ‘live and let live’. His opposition to the introduction of the hudud laws was based on this principle.
Malaysia is a unique country blessed with peoples of diverse racial origins, cultural and religious beliefs. The introduction of the hudud laws would break this harmony, and the extremism of the hudud tenets is viewed even by many Muslims as unsuitable for this age and era.
Many feel that if such laws were to be introduced the world will not view Malaysia as a progressive nation. In this world of globalization Malaysia is reaching out to the world and must be seen to be reaching out to the world. We must go forward and not retreat backward. We must be a champion of the world and not merely a champion in our own kampong. In this respect Karpal was a true Malaysian.
Karpal did not have any honours or titles bestowed upon him. However, to many he did not need any. The respect for Karpal amongst many Malaysians is deep and the honour for Karpal lies etched in the hearts of many Malaysians.
I am sure many Malaysians would sincerely convey their deep felt condolences to the family and associates of the late Karpal Singh and hope that somehow there will be other Karpals emerging.
Although medical cloning is not possible, hopefully there will be many spiritual clones of the likes of Karpal Singh.
Confucius, the Chinese sage once said, ‘Everybody will die eventually, but what is important is to die with a good name.’
I think Karpal stood highly qualified for this.