Gobind and Karpal together in Parliament.
GEORGETOWN: Gobind Singh, the second of Karpal’s five children, gently shook my hand as I conveyed my condolences on his father’s passing.
He appeared composed when I asked him if he would share his thoughts with us about his father who perished in a road accident on Thursday and we duly sat down in a corner of the crowded porch.
Gobind stared into blank space for a while before telling me with a small smile that the “Tiger of Jelutong” was a great father.
“He was the most loving father. He was extremely patient with us. Having him around meant a lot of fun.
“He was strictly principled but never once was he a disciplinarian. Instead he was always encouraging and never made us feel like studies were the only thing in life,” he said.
Gobind, who is also the Member of Parliament for Puchong, added that as a politician, Karpal was a great teacher.
“He was my ally in Parliament,” said Gobind, adding that Karpal was always humble and never made anyone feel like they were junior to him.
He said that it was rare to come across someone like his father and that is why he was so loved.
Gobind also shared that Karpal was a simple man who enjoyed little things like Sunday morning breakfast.
“He liked to come home over the weekend and have a meal with us in the Air Hitam coffee shop or the Nasi Kandar shop.
“He adored his grandchildren and often used them as an excuse for his rounds to the local Kentucky Fried Chicken, though we were all aware that it was he who loved the food there,” Gobind added.
Gobind noted that his mother Gurmeet Kaur has been especially affected by Karpal’s passing.
“She is the iron lady of the house who dedicated so much of her time before and after dad’s accident to looking after him.
“She played a pivotal role in his life and he in hers. I really do feel upset for her,” he said.
Gobind also acknowledged Michael Cornelius, Karpal’s assistant, who also perished in the Thursday morning accident.
“Michael sacrificed a lot for my father and during a meeting he had openly told him, ‘Thank you, without you I am nothing’ which caused Michael to break down.
“Michael gave his life for my father and his sacrifice was selfless. We would like to convey our deepest condolences to his family,” he added.
I thanked Gobind for his time with tears in my eyes thinking that while the Tiger of Jelutong’s roar may have been silenced, his legacy will live on.