| Teluk Intan, Malaysia | 4 June 2017 | Asia Samachar
A statue of the late Karpal Singh, a well-respected politician on the opposition side of the Malaysian Federal government bench who died in an accident in 2014, has made its appearance at a Taoist shrine in Teluk Intan, Perak.
The statue even carries the design of a tiger. Regarded as one of Malaysia’s best criminal and constitutional lawyer as well as an outspoken parliamentarian, Karpal was known as the ‘Jelutong Tiger’, taken after the constituency he represented in Parliament from 1978-1999.
The temple caretaker said it was the first and only temple pay respect to Karpal with the shrine, built with collections primarily from a Sabah-based donor and temple devotees, according to a report in a Chinese newspaper.
The report noted that initially many shops refused to accept the order to build the statue but one from China finally agreed to do it.
Karpal’s family, caught by surprise by the development, is exercising restraint over a Taoist shrine honouring the late politician so as not to offend other religions, reported Free Malaysia Today.
“The family was not consulted when the shrine was set up in Perak,” Ramkarpal Singh said.
Karpal, who was Bukit Gelugor MP and DAP national chairperson, died in a car accident in Kampar on April 17, 2014. He was succeeded by his son Ramkarpal as Bukit Gelugor MP.
The Tiger of Jelutong title was also made part of a title of a biography on Karpal.
The Sikh faith does not condone statues either at homes or at their places of worship called gurdwaras. However, some places in Punjab have been known to have crafted statues of well known Sikh personalities and placed them outside gurdwaras, a practice that is more an exception than the norm.
In the introduction of Karpal Singh: Tiger of Jelutong (The Full Biography) by Tim Donoghue, it noted that Karpal’s sudden death on 17 April 2014 in a horrific car accident – just a month after he was convicted of sedition in the High Court – shocked and saddened Malaysians to the core and left a deep void in the country’s legal and political landscape.
“Karpal was a fearless advocate for justice and a defender of human rights in South East Asia, and has appeared in the Privy Council in London on a number of occasions before such appeals were abandoned by Malaysia. He is renowned for his defence of many people from many nations who have faced the death penalty under Malaysia’s Dangerous Drugs Act.
“In recent years, one of his biggest achievements was his successful defence of former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim on two charges of sodomy in 2012. On the night he died, Karpal was still fighting for Anwar, who had been convicted once again of sodomy, and seeking to reassure him. He told the Opposition leader in a telephone call he would do his best in the prosecution’s ‘fast-tracked’ Federal Court of Appeal. Indeed Karpal had Anwar’s files with him in his vehicle when the fateful crash occurred,” it added.
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