KANGAR: Amidst the grieving, there was a sense of inter-racial harmony among those who came to pay their last respects to Perlis MIC deputy chief P. Kaliappan who was given a Chinese-style funeral.
Growing up in Gurun, Kedah, he picked up Teochew and Hokkien and married Tan Paik Lan, now 80.
The businessman, who was in the MIC for 38 years, died at the age of 78 on Friday while praying at a Hindu temple.
“My father had served the Indian community and helped temples raise funds in Perlis. But when he was home, he followed my mother and lived like a Chinese,” said his third daughter K. Lilly.
And just like Lilly, her 10 brothers and two sisters attended Chinese schools.
Since Kaliappan spoke flawless Teochew, none of the children ever picked up Tamil.
The wake was done Chinese-style because his children were more familiar with the practice but Lilly said they would fulfil her father’s wish for a Hindu cremation.
He will be cremated today.