Archive for April 23rd, 2014

Karpal Singh a political man of his times

Bridget Welsh
Apr 23, 2014

TRIBUTE Much has been written about the recently deceased Karpal Singh.

His skills as a lawyer, his fight for basic rights and contributions to the law, his commitment to his family and his struggle for ordinary people as a humanitarian are just some of the themes raised in the many eulogies and reflections in the past few days since he and his friend and assistant Michael Cornelius lost their lives.

The reactions from ordinary Malaysians have reaffirmed the spirit of dignity and humanity that are an integral part of the national character and stand in stark contrast to the uncouth provocative remarks of a handful of individuals who, blinded by insecurity and hubris, revealed how far they have deviated from common decency.

I knew Karpal Singh as a politician, and the remarks that follow are some of my observations on his important role in Malaysian political life and his political legacy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Standing invitation to Najib and Muhyiddin to the Karpal Singh Memorial service in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow night as it is not a political event but a national occasion to honour a great Malaysian patriot

I should not be surprised but I still feel sad that pettiness in mind and spirit still rule the roost in important establishments in the Malaysian government, resulting in the Education Ministry countermanding an earlier approval by SJK© Chung Kwo near Jalan Loke Yew in Kuala Lumpur for the use of the school hall for a memorial service for eight-term Member of Parliament and former Chairman of Democratic Action Party Sdr. Karpal Singh tomorrow night.

The reason for the Education Department countermanding the earlier approval by SJK© Chung Kwo for the use of the RM10 million school hall, built by donations by the parents of the students and the public without a single sen of contribution by the government, was that the memorial service for Karpal is a political event.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The nation-wide memorial service for Karpal is neither a DAP nor political event, but a national occasion to honour a great Malaysian patriot who had dedicated his life to the betterment of his countrymen and women, regardless of race, religion, region, gender or age, as testified by the tens of thousands of Malaysians from all races, religions, regions and classes who paid their last respects to Karpal in Penang during his four-day wake and the funeral on Sunday and the millions who grieved at his passing as a personal loss although the overwhelming majority have not known or met him.

The Education Department’s action is all the more deplorable as the Education Minister who is the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had “on behalf of the Government and UMNO” not only personally conveyed his condolences to Karpal’s family, but acknowledged Karpal’s parliamentary contributions in having “lived up to his role as a member of parliament” and who would always be remembered as “his views are respected and feared by many”. Read the rest of this entry »


Karpal Singh, pemimpin lagenda Malaysian Malaysia!

– Loke Siew Fook
April 23, 2014

Pemergian mantan Pengerusi Kebangsaan DAP Sdr Karpal Singh pada pagi 17 April 2014 dalam satu kemalangan ngeri di KM301.6 Lebuhraya Utara Selatan berdekatan Gua Tempurung menggemparkan seluruh negara. Saya dimaklumkan tentang berita sedih tersebut semasa berada dalam lawatan ke Guangzhou, China, atas jemputan sebuah institut penyelidikan rantau Asia Tenggara di sana. Saya memendekkan lawatan saya untuk kembali ke Malaysia pada 18 April untuk memberikan penghormatan terakhir kepada mendiang Sdr Karpal.

Saya bersama seluruh kepimpinan DAP dan puluhan ribu rakyat Malaysia mengiringi jenazah Sdr Karpal untuk menyelesaikan perjalanan terakhirnya di Georgetown, Pulau Pinang, pada tengahari 20 April 2014. Sepanjang perarakan tersebut, perasaan saya sedih dan terharu untuk menghantar seorang pemimpin politik dan peguam yang amat sinonim dengan rakyat Malaysia. Nama Karpal Singh telah tertanam di minda saya sejak di bangku sekolah lagi. Gandingan beliau dengan Sdr Lim Kit Siang merupakan beregu yang paling mantap dalam kepimpinan tertinggi DAP dan barisan pembangkang di Parlimen sepanjang beberapa dekad yang lalu.

Saya merenung wajah dan emosi orang ramai yang berduyun-duyun memberikan penghormatan terakhir kepada Sdr Karpal di Dewan Sri Pinang dan juga puluhan ribu yang berbaris di sepanjang jalan. Ramai yang menitiskan air mata dan tidak dapat mengawal kepiluan hati naluri mereka. Ramai juga yang berteriak “Karpal Singh, Karpal Singh” dengan penuh bersemangat sebagai tanda menghargai semangat perjuangan beliau.

Mereka ini terdiri daripada pelbagai latarbelakang kaum dan agama, darjat dan lapisan masyarakat. Daripada golongan peguam hinggalah para penjaja, Sdr Karpal menyayat hati semua. Ini terbukti dengan reaksi spontan ribuan penunggang motosikal yang mengiringi kereta jenazah beliau untuk sampai ke krematorium.

Dalam hati kecil, saya berasa amat bangga sebagai seorang ahli DAP dan berkhidmat sebagai seorang anggota CEC di bawah kepimpinan Sdr Karpal Singh. Sdr Karpal adalah dari kaum minoriti yang paling kecil di Malaysia iaitu komuniti Sikh. Namun, beliau bukan disanjungi sebagai seorang pemimpin komuniti Sikh mahupun pemimpin DAP semata-mata, tetapi sebagai seorang pemimpin rakyat Malaysia yang telah banyak berkhidmat dan berkorban untuk negara! Read the rest of this entry »


4 questions about missing Malaysian plane answered

Washington Post
April 19, 2014

Travelers at Asian airports have asked questions about the March 8 disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Here are some of them, followed by answers.

Samuel Rogers, a 20-year-old German on a backpacking trip, in Bangkok and on his way to Malaysia.

He asked: “Why did the Malaysian military see the plane on their radar but not report it immediately?”

A: The Malaysian Air Force’s official line is that its radar operators spotted the plane but didn’t have any reason to suspect it. This is why they didn’t attempt to contact the plane or scramble jets to intercept it. Many aviation and defense experts say there are grounds to doubt this. They speculate the air force failed to spot the unidentified plane entering its airspace, or if it did, didn’t respond to what could potentially have been a national security threat. Admitting that would be a highly embarrassing and sensitive for any air force, and could be the reason for the delay in publicly confirming that the plane did turn back. Read the rest of this entry »


The measure of Karpal Singh

Zalman Zulkifli | Updated: April 21, 2014
Astro Awani

WE recently lost Mr. Karpal Singh. A lot have been said about him. And we learned a lot more about him too as his friends shared a bit more about his past.

My tribute to Karpal is really for who he is and what he stood for.

We grew up under the shadow of giants: Giants like Mahathir, Ling Liong Sik, Samy Vellu, Lim Kit Siang and yes Karpal Singh.

Their names emblazoned the news and have etched an everlasting image in our minds. What I admire is that Karpal knew he was fighting a lost cause. His whole life, he knew that change in the country doesn’t just come from politics. Many more things have to change, before change happens. Read the rest of this entry »


In Memory: Karpal Singh, True Humanitarian

Lee Min Choon

This has nothing to do with the Malay Bible. But I can’t help but feel a sense of loss with the passing of colleague at the Bar and friend, Karpal Singh. So, here’s how I remember him.

It must have been around 1985 when I was helping a convict on death row who had become a Christian while in prison. Liew Weng Seng was sentenced to death under the Internal Security Act for possession of a firearm. At the Federal Court, Liew was unrepresented and proceeded to tell the court that he was guilty and did not wish to appeal his death sentence. When court was adjourned, his family tried to pass him a bible but was prevented from doing so by the prison warders. A commotion ensued and made the news the next day. When I read the report, I thought, “Hey, this guy is a Christian and he had just told the court to go ahead to hang him.”

I called the office at Pudu Prison and arranged for an appointment to see Liew. When we met, he confirmed that what the newspapers reported was what happened in court. I listened as he told his story of how he got into crime. It was a pitiful story of a boy growing up in the slums and being influenced by the gangs. Soon he was committing crimes. The law caught up with him. Possession of firearms was a capital offence. Liew was not yet 30 as he faced the gallows. Since his case was over, I offered to write a petition for pardon on his behalf to the King. I would not charge him any fees. It was a favour to a fellow Christian. Liew agreed. Over the next one year, I would visit Liew. As he spoke no English or Malay and as my Chinese was vitually incomprehensible, I always brought along a Chinese pastor with me to encourage and minister to Liew.

One day, Liew’s family called me. They said the prison had called to say that Liew will be hanged in 3 days time. I told them I would do what I can. I called the prison and then the palace to find out what happened to Liew’s petition for pardon. Eventually, I was told that it was rejected and the court had issued a warrant for his execution. I went to see Liew with his family. It saddened me that our friendship over the past year was coming to an end. Liew said that he had made his peace with God and he was not afraid. I asked him if he would consider doing some good with his death by donating his organs. He agreed. Over the next 2 days, I went to the General Hospital to find out the procedure and paperwork for this sort of thing. On the eve of his execution, I came to see Liew one last time and gave him some papers to sign to donate his organs. I bought him a meal from the prison canteen. Then we said goodbye and I told him we will meet again one day.

I arrived home late in the afternoon, went to the backroom of my house and laid down on a bed. I did not want my wife and child to see the tears I shed for Liew. In 12 hours time, Liew will be taken from his cell (at 5.00 am the next day) and be hung by the neck till he was dead.

Suddenly, my wife walked into the room and said, “Karpal Singh is here to see you.” Read the rest of this entry »


MH370: Ex-NST boss backs foreign press coverage, skewers conspiracy claims

The Malay Mail Online
April 22, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, April 22 — The foreign media should not be attacked for sullying Malaysia’s image in its coverage of the MH370 crisis, veteran journalist Datuk A. Kadir Jasin said, telling local authorities to first look at the circumstances surrounding the missing jetliner before pointing fingers at others.

The former group editor-in-chief for English daily New Straits Times said criticising the press when they were just doing their jobs was akin to “shooting the messenger”.

“It won’t solve the problem, especially if what they’ve reported is the truth,” he said in a blog posting here.

“When one messenger is shot, tens more will arise. The information and communication technology of today allows any person with a computer or a smartphone to become instant journalists should they want to,” he pointed out.

Kadir added that given the lack of answers to the ongoing crisis, and the string of unfortunate incidents that followed the jetliner’s mysterious disappearance last month, it was to be expected that Malaysia would take a beating in the international media. Read the rest of this entry »

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Release the RCI report on Sabah illegal immigrants

By Kee Thuan Chye

Kidnappings and illegal immigrants – these are issues that are closely related, because they raise the pressing question of how secure Sabah’s east coast really is. So when a Chinese tourist and a Filipino worker were abducted by gunmen from Singamata Reef Resort off Semporna on April 2, proving once again that marauders from around the surrounding areas and the Philippines can easily penetrate Sabah’s eastern border, the incident also reminded us how easily illegal immigrants have been hopping into Sabah over the decades.

This naturally led to another question. A Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) was established in 2012 to finally investigate the issue of Sabah’s illegal immigrants, and it concluded its hearings on September 20, 2013. But after seven months, we have not yet been told what the six-man panel have recommended. When will the RCI findings be revealed?

Is the Federal Government, as usual, waiting for the right timing to release the findings so that it can use the occasion for its own political leverage? Or is it holding back because the recommendations may be detrimental to its own position? Read the rest of this entry »

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