Are the tears of a grieving non-Muslim widow any different from the tears of a grieving Muslim widow? Are the tears and feeling of absolute loss by non-Muslim sons and daughters any different than those of the same who are Muslims?
They are undeniably the same.
It does not matter if some people took the opportunity from the death of Mr Karpal Singh, lawyer and MP for Bukit Gelugor to make fun and revel in derisive jubilation. It only reflects their upbringing. In the immortal words of Michael Caine in the war movie The Eagles Have Landed- they remind me of something I occasionally pick up on my shoe in the gutter, very unpleasant on a hot day.
At round 2.33am in the early morning of 17th April, there was a whatsapp message from Mr V Sivakumar MP who said: jus received a call from someone, said sdr Karpal met with an accident near Gopeng. Is it true?
The first answer came from Kahsturi Patto, MP who answered: Not Sure Yb.
At 2.55am a message from Gobind Singh MP said:
Just been informed Mr Karpal and Michael passed away. Driver in serious condition. Ramkarpal is alive.
I can’t even begin to imagine the emotions that went through Gobind when he relayed that message. Utterly devastating.
That was the time when many DAP MPs received news of the passing of Mr Karpal Singh, MP and his faithful assistant and minder, Michael.
Last week towards the end of the Parliament session, I caught hold of Mr Karpal at the exit of parliament chambers. His son, Mr Gobind Singh MP was standing beside him. I bent forward to touch the arm of Mr Karpal to wish him some pleasantries. I then shook hands with Mr Gobind and said Hello Puchong to which he answered, Yes Raub, everything ok?
That was to be my last encounter with Mr karpal Singh MP, who will forever be iconised as the Tiger of Jelutong. On a number of previous occasions I came across him when he alighted from his Alphard helped by the driver and his Michael Cornelius.
I join all conscientious Malaysians of all races to express the deepest of sadness, sorrow and a feeling of loss over the man known for his uncompromising upholding of truth and justice. Fought with equal vehemence through politics and the law.
What did Karpal Singh fight for?
For as long as I remember Karpal fought for the supremacy of the law. The law which he understood to mean that everyone living in the realm is subjected as equals before the law. As a result of this unshakeable conviction, he has been able to dispute and challenge every transgression of the law irrespective of who the author of those transgressions is.
Be it the high and mighty, the royal family and we have had so many of them who have broken all sorts of law these years, the politicians and the powerful. I suspect he has a natural inclination to be on the side of the oppressed, the weak and powerless, and the common people.
Karpal Singh is radical in that sense. He actually delights and savors a fight with the establishment- in any form and guise into which he tears through with reason, the law and conviction. He does not believe in any god-incarnate institutions here in Malaysia. His unshakeable motto is if in court, anytime, anywhere.
Probably a term which can be used to describe such a belief in the mortality of all forms of institution except the supremacy of the law is a political atheist. He does not believe in any incarnate unassailability of any man-made institutions.
I think this is the quality that he sought to infuse in all Malaysians irrespective of race, colour and creed. As long as all are Malaysians, we are equal before the law. This form of contribution is immeasurable.
He fought for the rule of law, supremacy of the constitution, truth, justice and protection of the weak, oppressed and hapless. And where were his battlegrounds? He chose them well- in the courts and in parliament. Somehow I will never forget those words spoken so many years ago- if in court, anytime, anywhere. That was why he was always fighting for the integrity of the institutions that are the guardians and dispenser of justice- the courts and the judiciary.
Mr Karpal Singh will continue to teach and inspire us from wherever he is. Farewell.