A file picture shows Michael Cornelius (in blue) pushing DAP chairman Karpal Singh on his wheelchair at the Air Itam market.
KUALA LUMPUR: Michael Cornelius was a man who did not speak much, but his unwavering attention to Karpal Singh spoke volumes about how much he cared for his boss.
Court reporters first saw him several years ago as he carefully pushed the wheelchair and gently attended to the late lawyer.
Michael was very shy back then and would only smile to the reporters who constantly approached Karpal for his comments outside the court premises.
Over the months, Michael, 39, could be seen taking on more responsibility as a crucial member of Karpal’s caregiving team — even taking calls from the media on behalf of the busy lawyer.
Despite the growing importance in role, Michael remained an unassuming person and was very helpful to reporters who wanted to find out the whereabouts of his boss.
On one occasion when I asked him about his duties to Karpal, he beamed and said: “I have to take care of him as a baby.”
He added that he was very happy to serve the veteran lawyer.
He said Karpal had personally employed him after meeting him in a hospital in India.
When I was covering Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy case at the Court of Appeal last year, Michael requested to have a photo taken with me to show to his wife and two children back home.
“I want to show it to my family. I know reporters here. They will be delighted,” he said happily, adding that he could not wait to see his loved ones for Christmas.
Michael was a thoughtful person. He would always send warm wishes during the festive occasions.
The last message he sent to me for the Tamil New Year on Monday read: “Every little SMILE can touch somebody’s heart. No one is born HAPPY, but all of us are born with the ability to create HAPPINESS. Love to u all. Happy New Year. Rejoice. Yb Karpal singh ass Michael.”
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