Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Tiger of Jelutong (1940-2014)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Family members at the Permaisuri Bainun Hospital in Ipoh, Perak. The Malaysian Insider photo by Afif Abd Halim, April 17, 2014
 
DAP’s Karpal Singh (left) died in an accident when the MPV he was travelling in collided with a five-tonne Mitsubishi Canter lorry at KM306.1 of the North-South Expressway, near the Gua Tempurung stretch at between 1-1.15 AM today. Also killed in the accident was his assistant Michael Cornelius. Karpal was believed to be travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Penang.
 
The death of Karpal comes as a shock to Malaysians who have lionised the "Tiger of Jelutong", a moniker he earned as MP for the area from 1978 to 1999, as a champion of democracy. He was well known as a fiery orator who never backed down both in the courtroom and in Parliament and has even been detained under preventive laws through the course of his political career.
 
An accident in 2005 left Karpal confined to a wheelchair, but this did not stop him from battling for justice in the courts and in Parliament.
 
Karpal Singh was a towering Malaysian, willing to slay any Smaug if only to defend the oppressed, the under-privileged and the down-trodden. I agree with Karpal's comrade-in-arms Lim Kit Siang when he said that the best way to honor his memory is to continue with his fight for “justice, rule of law and democracy”.

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