Archive for April 17th, 2014

With Karpal’s death, a light has gone out in Malaysia – best tribute to memory to Karpal is mushrooming of more lights to brighten the Malaysian national landscape of justice, rule of law and democracy

Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region, the majority of whom had never met or known Karpal Singh, are in shock and mourning the sudden passing of the Tiger of Jelutong as a personal loss.

This is a testament of how the indomitable fight and struggle of Karpal for justice, the rule of law and democracy for over four decades have touched the lives of Malaysians, across race, religion, region, gender or age.

In his four decades of public life, particularly in law and politics, Karpal has never allowed power and position or his personal trials and tribulations – including detention under the notorious and draconian Internal Security Act under Operation Lalang in 1987 and his persecution under the Sedition Act with the threat of disqualification as elected Member of Parliament – to undermine his commitment to the cause of justice, the rule of law and democracy.

With Karpal’s death, a light has gone out in Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »


Walaupun berbeza pendapat, Nik Aziz sedih dengan kematian Karpal

TMI | April 17, 2014

Walaupun mempunyai perbezaan ketara dalam beberapa hal namun Mursyidul Am PAS, Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat sangat terasa dengan kehilangan Karpal Singh yang beliau sifatkan sebagai pendokong kuat Perlembagaan Persekutuan.‎

Menurut bekas menteri besar Kelantan itu, jika semua pihak menghormati prinsip yang terkandung di dalam Perlembagaan seperti Karpal, Kelantan pasti tidak akan ditindas dengan pelbagai jenis penindasan.

Nik Aziz berkata demikian dalam satu kenyataan bertulisnya hari ini ekoran kematian Karpal dalam satu kemalangan jalan raya awal pagi tadi.

“Saya rakamkan takziah kepada keluarga Yang Berhormat Karpal Singh, Ahli Parlimen Jelutong yang meninggal dunia akibat kemalangan awal pagi ini.

“Saya sifatkan pemergian beliau sebagai satu kehilangan kepada dunia politik tanah air kerana beliau amat dikenali sebagai seorang yang berprinsip dan sukar digugat pendiriannya,” katanya.

Bagi Nik Aziz, Karpal merupakan pendokong kuat kepada Perlembagaan Malaysia dan amat tegas dengan pendirian bahawa Malaysia merupakan negara sekular. Read the rest of this entry »


Karpal – the man who was principled to a fault

By Ram Anand | Malaysiakini
Apr 17, 2014

COMMENT Seated in his wheelchair, still wearing his Parliament coat, Karpal Singh rings for his assistant, Michael Cornandez, who comes rushing into the room. “I’m thirsty,” says Karpal apologetically to me, and Michael lifts up the can of a soft drink that was on the table with the straw on it. The then-Bukit Gelugor MP and DAP national chairperson took three sips of the drink. “This is how I depend on him,” Karpal said, referring to Michael.

What was a serious interview up until that point in his office in Jalan Pudu in December 2012 had suddenly taken a lighter tone. It was probably light for Karpal – but it was unsettling for me and my colleague as he narrated his life in a wheelchair and his previous accident that had left him partially paralysed. I felt sorry for the man, but as he was telling his story, he wore a smile on his face, that effervescent, ever-present smile.

“Some people say the accident (in 2004) was orchestrated by my enemies. I had met Umno Youth folks at the airport before I flew to Penang, and it happened to be that the fellow whose car got into an accident with my taxi was an MCA guy. But I always say, if they wanted to kill me, they would have done so a long time. There are a million ways to kill me.” Read the rest of this entry »


An emotional and teary morning

Malaysiakini | Apr 17, 2014

It was an emotional and teary morning at the Ipoh Hospital’s Forensic Department as Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh’s body arrived for a post-mortem at 7.20am.

Karpal’s body will be taken back to his family home in Penang today and he is expected to be cremated at the Sikh cremation hall on Jalan Gurdwara at 11am on Sunday.

Arriving with his body from Kampar, where Karpal together with his helper, Michael Cornelius, died on-the-spot in an accident near the Gopeng exit of the North-South Expressway, was his son, Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo, who looked exhausted.

Though he appeared distraught as he himself had been admitted to hospital in Kuala Lumpur recently, Gobind (on the left) was calm and collected as he took questions from the army of reporters who have come to the hospital from Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh and Penang.

Karpal’s wife, Gurmit Kaur, was also in tears as she entered the waiting hall, wearing a purple scarf over her head, as relatives accompanied her into the Forensic Department’s waiting area.

She was speechless but her pain was apparent as many approach her to offer condolences, as they hugged her and held her tight. Read the rest of this entry »

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Guan Eng: Karpal said he would return

Malaysiakini | Apr 17, 2014

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said today among Karpal Singh’s last words in the days before he died in a car crash in Kampar early this morning were “I will definitely return.”

Lim said he spent much time with Karpal in Parliament and in recent days to discuss the Bukit Gelugor MP’s sedition conviction and RM4,000 fine, which Karpal had planned to appeal this week.

Lim said the party had also reluctantly accepted Karpal’s resignation as DAP national chairperson, “and we told him that his post will remain vacant till he returns”.

He added that Karpal had refused to appeal the matter with the Registrar of Societies, which could provide him with an exemption to remain as DAP chairperson pending the appeal.

“He thanked the party and said, ‘Guan Eng, I will definitely return. Don’t worry, we will definitely carry on’.

“We will miss him badly. So will the party and the people. The tears shared by ordinary Malaysians are the greatest honour for Karpal,” Lim told reporters at the Ipoh General Hospital’s Forensic Department. Read the rest of this entry »

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Farewell, Tiger of Jelutong

By Opalyn Mok | MMO
April 17, 2014 UPDATED: April 17, 2014 10:28 am

GEORGE TOWN, April 17 — Today, the nation woke up to the shocking news of the death of Karpal Singh.

This man who has been part of Malaysia’s political landscape for so long and who has overcome all sorts of struggles — both public and personal — died in a road accident early this morning.

Malaysians, both here and abroad, are still coming to grips that the Tiger of Jelutong is no more. After all, he has always been a fierce warrior… surely he cannot have been felled.

But the Bukit Gelugor MP was killed in a road accident at KM306.1 of the North-South Expressway near Gua Tempurung at about 1.10am today.

He was believed to be travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Penang for a court hearing this morning.

Karpal, who was seated in the front passenger seat, was killed on the spot together with his long-time assistant, Michael Cornelius Selvam Vellu.

This giant of a political leader earned the moniker “Tiger of Jelutong” when he won the Jelutong parliamentary seat in 1978 and held it for 21 years before losing it in the 1999 general elections. Read the rest of this entry »

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Selangor assembly in minute’s silence for Karpal Singh

April 17, 2014

SHAH ALAM, April 17 — Selangor lawmakers paid their respects today to DAP veteran lawmaker Karpal Singh by observing a minute of silence to mark his death from a fatal crash this morning.

At the beginning of today’s state assembly sitting, Selangor Speaker Hannah Yeoh spoke of the shock that Malaysians felt on learning of the 73-year-old’s death in a car accident along the North-South Highway near Gopeng, Perak.

“Early this morning, the people of Malaysia were shocked with news of the fatal accident that took the life of the Bukit Gelugor MP and DAP leader that we love and respect, the late YB Karpal Singh and his assistant.

“I’m sure many others will pay their respects to him in the days to come. Therefore, following this shocking news, I humbly ask that the House allocate one minute to meditate to pay respects to him,” the Selangor DAP vice-chairman said in a voice that almost broke, with the House then rising from their seats and standing silently for one minute.

Karpal and long-serving aide, Michael Cornelius Selvam Vellu, were killed when the vehicle he was travelling in rammed into the back of a lorry near Gopeng along the North-South Expressway at 1.10am.

Karpal leaves behind a wife, five children and four grandchildren.
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On Twitter, friends and foes pay tribute to Karpal

MMO | April 17, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 — The unexpected news of veteran DAP lawmaker Karpal Singh’s death in a car crash this morning led to an outpouring of tributes and sorrow from friends and foes alike in social media.

Among the earliest was Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who offered his sympathies to the family of the late parliamentarian over their loss.

“I have just landed at Ankara when I heard the news that YB Karpal Singh died in a road accident. My condolences to the family,” Najib wrote on his Twitter page.

Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim also took to the social media site to deliver an effusive homage to his ally in the Pakatan Rakyat pact.

“We’ve lost a colleague; an indefatigable fighter for justice; d legendary Karpal Singh! Our sincere condolences to d family. RIP. Anwar,” the PKR de facto leader wrote.

Other more sombre messages include that by PKR vice president in his message announcing the confirmation of Karpal’s fatal accident, in which he said he was left “sad and speechless” over the tragedy. Read the rest of this entry »


In tributes, DAP leaders say Karpal was ‘giant amongst men’

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal, Pathma Subramaniam and Opalyn Mok | MMO
April 17, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 — Still reeling from the shock over veteran lawmaker Karpal Singh’s death, DAP leaders throughout the country recalled the “Tiger of Jelutong’s” legacy of principled fearlessness inspired them to follow in his footsteps.

For DAP deputy national chairman Tan Kok Wai, Karpal was an “irreplaceable” colleague, a “giant amongst men.”

“Karpal is well known for his outstanding bravery and his persistence and perseverance in fighting for an equitable society and equality for all,” he told The Malay Mail Online when contacted.

DAP deputy-secretary general Datuk Ngeh Khoo Ham who has known the Bukit Gelugor MP for 25 years, described the lawyer as a bold man who would “risk everything for what is right.”

“He was principled and [unwavering],” Ngeh told The Malay Mail Online. Read the rest of this entry »

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My last meeting with Mr Karpal Singh

April 17, 2014

I met Mr Karpal Singh at his office in Jalan Pudu, Kuala Lumpur, about 7pm last night and spent about 45 minutes with him.

He had called me earlier to collect a copy of a court judgment of an important case.

He told me to come as early as possible because he had to go to Penang later that night, as he was defending a client in a murder trial at the Penang court the next morning (today).

Mr Karpal normally made it a point to inform me of court cases. He was one of my closest contacts on legal matters. It is through him that I get my exclusive stories.

Mr Karpal’s personal assistant, Micheal Cornelius, was there to welcome me at the entrance of the office.

It was through the late Michael that I communicated with Mr Karpal over the phone, after the Bukit Gelugor MP was left paralysed following a road accident in 2005. Read the rest of this entry »

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Karpal fought for the weak and oppressed, he was a true friend, says Guan Eng

April 17, 2014

Penang has lost one of its favourite sons today following the tragic death of Karpal Singh, a man who took up the baton and fought for the defenceless, the weak and the oppressed, said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng today.

“It is said that there are no permanent friends or enemies in politics, but there are permanent principles,” Lim told reporters at the Ipoh hospital.

“Integrity, honesty and decency, these were the principles which Karpal believed in and held firm throughout his life.

“DAP, Penang and Malaysians are all greatly pained and saddened by the loss of Karpal.

“He had contributed greatly throughout his political career and despite his age, had so much more to offer.”

He said the tears shed by Malaysians today are a reflection of Karpal’s deeds and accomplishments. Read the rest of this entry »

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My dad was in KL to see me, says Gobind

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.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Karpal Singh, always in the pursuit of justice

April 17, 2014

Karpal Singh – the prominent lawyer, lawmaker and DAP leader – died early this morning in a road accident while on the way to Penang, doing what he does best: going to court for a client. He was 73.

His reputation as a lawyer and politician had earned him the nickname the “Tiger of Jelutong” from the time he started legal practice in 1970 – which was also the year he joined the Democratic Action Party (DAP).

When he died early today, Karpal had just let go of the DAP chairmanship as he battled a sedition conviction that risked his four decades of legal and political career.

But the controversial decision was nothing to Karpal. He had been thrown out of parliament, put in detention during Ops Lalang in 1987 and had faced previous sedition charges.

“Eliminating me from the political terrain will not be the end of Karpal Singh. It will in fact lead to the rise of many Karpal Singhs!” said Karpal, who was Amnesty International’s “prisoner of conscience” for his detention without trial. Read the rest of this entry »

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Karpal was a giant, among the top lawyers in the world, says legal fraternity

April 17, 2014

The late Karpal Singh was described as a “giant” in the legal fraternity by the Malaysian Bar which represents 13,000 lawyers.

Bar president Christopher Leong said Karpal, who had been in practice for more than 40 years, was a towering Malaysian and a courageous man.

Leong remembered Karpal recently telling him that even if he was gone, there would be 100 Karpals to take his place.

“How I wish that were true as Malaysia needed Karpal and continues to need more people like Karpal,” Leong said.

Karpal had made the remark last month soon after he was convicted of sedition by the High Court in Kuala Lumpur.

Leong said Karpal was of that special and rare breed of men who commanded respect for his leadership and courage in the values and causes he stood and fought for. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tears flow as Karpal’s body arrives at Ipoh hospital

BY Looi Sue-Chern | TMI
April 17, 2014

Tears flowed as Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh’s body arrived at the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital in Ipoh, Perak, at 7.25am today for a post-mortem following an accident near Gua Tempurung in Perak, early this morning.

His wife Gurmit Kaur, sons Jagdeep Singh Deo and Gobind Singh Deo, and daughter Sangeet were joined by DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and other leaders at the hospital.

All of them broke down in tears as Karpal’s body was removed from the van and taken into the mortuary, which was just opened yesterday.

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 for this morning.

Police said the multipurpose vehicle was badly-damaged after losing control following a collision with a lorry on KM301.6 of the North-South Expressway about 12.40am this morning.

Police said he died on the spot. There were four other occupants in Karpal’s Toyota Alphard, which has the iconic number plate KS9898. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tributes and expressions of shock pour in for Tiger of Jelutong

April 17, 2014

Latest Update: April 17, 2014 12:04 pm

As Malaysia woke to the tragic news of the passing of opposition icon Karpal Singh, tributes and expressions of shock poured in through social media, with “Karpal Singh” and “Tiger of Jelutong” among the top news trending on Twitter since this morning.

One Twitter user going by the handle @Babyan Haha posted: “RIP Karpal Singh. My father even cried after watching the news at 8am just now”.

NGO Tindak Malaysia posted: We mourn the passing of a fighter for justice and a Tiger that helped shape the politics of Malaysia for the better”.

Another user going by the handle Seorang Tuiter posted that “the lion sleeps for the last time”.

Lawyer Nizam Bashir @nizambashir also took to Twitter, saying that “words can’t do justice for what the man stood for”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Karpal Singh dies in road accident, son injured

April 17, 2014

Latest Update: April 17, 2014 09:43 am

Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh died in a car accident on the North-South Expressway this morning near Gua Tempurung, Kampar in Perak.

Kampar police chief Superintendent Ng Kong Soon confirmed that Karpal died in a road accident at KM306.1 of the North-South Expressway near Gua Tempurung at 12.40 am today.

Karpal, who would have turned 74 in June, was believed to be travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Penang to attend a court hearing scheduled for this morning.

Born in Penang on June 28, 1940, Karpal graduated with a law degree from the National University of Singapore.

Karpal’s political career began in 1970 when he joined the DAP. He won a seat in the Kedah State Legislative Assembly in 1974.

He was first elected to Parliament in 1978 as the representative for Jelutong, Penang, and held the seat for more than 20 years until losing it in 1999. It is during this time that Karpal earned the moniker, “Tiger of Jelutong.” Read the rest of this entry »

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