KUALA LUMPUR, March 18 — DAP’s Lim Kit Siang expressed his party’s appreciation today after its stalwart, the late Karpal Singh was posthumously awarded the Darjah Utama Pangkuan Negeri (DUPN) which carries the title “Datuk Seri Utama” last week.
The long-time colleague and friend of Karpal said the party must now honour the man called Tiger of Jelutong’s memory by returning to the latter’s idealism and passion by advancing democracy in the country.
“With Karpal’s death, a light has gone out in Malaysia,” Lim said in a statement.
“But the best tribute to the memory of Karpal is the mushrooming of more lights to brighten the Malaysian national landscape of justice, the rule of law and democracy.”
Lim then said that DAP must return to the idealism and passion Karpal once brought in the early days of the party, adding that it must learn from the experiences and mistakes, especially during its time with the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.
“The end of the Pakatan Harapan government is a great setback and many Malaysians have lost hope for change and progress for Malaysia.
“But we in the DAP must never surrender to despair and despondency, and we must remain at the very forefront of the dream for Malaysia to be a world-class great nation and to avoid the abyss of a kleptocracy, kakistocracy and a failed state,” he said.
Lim added that the greatest challenge for the new generation of DAP leaders is to reinspire Malaysians — regardless of background — that Malaysia can take its place among the world's elite.
Karpal received the title in conjunction with DAP’s 55th anniversary and Penang’s Yang Di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas’ 82nd birthday celebration last week.
It was presented to his wife Gurmit Kaur.
Lim shared how Karpal had joined the DAP before he was 30 with a vision of a progressive and prosperous Malaysia, and noted that the nation lost an indomitable and indefatigable fighter for justice and democracy when Karpal passed.
“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,” he said.
Karpal Singh was a prominent lawyer who served as Jelutong MP for 21 years. He was also the Bukit Gelugor MP for 10 years and was a prominent advocate for human rights.
Karpal died in April 2014 in a car accident. He was 74.