GEORGE TOWN, April 19 — In a sign that Karpal Singh’s legacy will not be forgotten, his eldest grandson pledged today to become as fearless and dedicated a lawyer his late grandfather once was.
Eleven-year-old Akhshay Singh Deo took to the microphone this evening and said: “I’ll be the next Tiger of Jelutong!”
Akhshay, along with 10 of Karpal’s other grandchildren, was asked if he wanted to follow in their grandfather’s footsteps to become a lawyer and “defender of the oppressed.”
“Eleven of us are saying ‘jangan main-main’, so you all better be careful!” said Akhshay and some of his other siblings and cousins in reply, quoting Karpal’s infamous line delivered to Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin during the last Parliament sitting.
Akhshay is the eldest son of Jagdeep Singh Deo, Penang state lawmaker and also Karpal’s eldest son.
The boy described a “wonderful dream” he had on Thursday morning, hours before finding out that Karpal was involved in a fatal car accident.
In it, Akhshay was walking hand-in-hand with his grandfather on a beach and they were playing a game of football.
“In my dream, he hugged me… it is a sign he has (his) legs now that he is back with God up there,” said Akhshay.
Karpal was left paralysed after a previous car accident back in 2004.
The grandchildren also showed reporters a huge card they had drawn for the late Karpal, with his picture adorned in the middle and scribbled messages of love and words often used by the man himself.
They proceeded to read out each and every phrase and message aloud — “loving grandfather”, “we will all be tigers like you”, “my dadaji (grandfather), my hero, my tiger”, “the defender of the defenceless”, and “jangan main-main! [don’t play play!]”
Today is the last day of Karpal’s wake at his house along Jalan Utama where the public can pay their last respects until 11pm tonight.
Crowds have started gathering to pay their last respects as early as 8am today.
The whole road continued to be jammed up as traffic slowed down near Karpal’s house due to the growing crowd spilling onto the road.
Flower wreaths and other tributes from paintings to artworks depicting Karpal’s face next to a tiger were crammed all around the compound of the single-storey bungalow.
Canopies were also set up across the road from the house for the overwhelming numbers of flower wreaths from various organisations, individuals and parties.
The late Bukit Gelugor MP was killed in a car crash at about 1.10am on April 16 after the car he was travelling in collided with a lorry.
He will be accorded a funeral with state honours where the state flag is flown at half-mast until his cremation.
Tomorrow, the cortège will leave the house at 8am to make its way to Dewan Sri Pinang on Lebuh Light for a public ceremony.
The ceremony at Dewan Sri Pinang is from 9am to 11am to allow the public to pay their last respects to the man fondly remembered as the “Tiger of Jelutong”.
The cortège will go on a short procession around several places that marked milestones in Karpal’s life that includes the Penang High Court, his legal firm in Green Hall, the Penang state legislative assembly on Lebuh Light and his alma mater St Xavier’s Institution on Farquhar Street.
After the procession, the cortège will head to the Batu Gantung crematorium for the final funeral rites.