Friends, family and colleagues say goodbye to Sri Ram

KUALA LUMPUR: The mood was sombre mood at the Nirvana 2 Memorial Centre here as friends, families and colleagues of the late Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram bade him their final farewell.

A white hearse carrying the former Federal Court judge's body left the memorial park at 1.54pm on Tuesday (Jan 31). His family members were also seen in the hearse.

Lawyers and politicians were among the mourners who attended the wake to pay their last respects to Sri Ram.

Deputy Law and Institutional Reform Minister Ramkarpal Singh said Sri Ram and his father, the late Datuk Seri Karpal Singh, went a long way back when they started their legal practice in the 1970s.

He added that apart from being renowned as a sound legal practitioner, Ramkarpal revealed that Sri Ram also "had a good sense of humour".

"He will be sorely missed," Ramkarpal told reporters at the memorial centre.

Lawyer Datuk V. Sithambaram, who knew Sri Ram for 44 years, said an era has passed with the passing of the legend.

Sithambaram, who was the ad hoc prosecutor in Datuk Seri Najib Razak's SRC International case, said it was hard to find another lawyer of Sri Ram's standing and calibre.

"He is a born teacher. He loves to teach and see others improve," he said, adding that he has fond memories of Sri Ram.

"He can make a serious point with a sense of humour that you will remember at the end of the day. He can make complex issues very simple to understand for the layman. That is his gift and that is very hard to come by," he added.

Sithambaran said Sri Ram worked very hard and was very passionate about his craft.

"I think it is his true calling to be a lawyer and a judge," he said, adding that Sri Ram was also a kind and sympathetic person.

Housing and Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming said Sri Ram would be dearly missed.

"He is widely regarded as the 'Lord Denning of Malaysia'. Not only is he a brilliant litigation lawyer, he is also a well-learned judge," Nga said, while comparing Sri Ram with the legendary English barrister and judge Alfred Thompson Denning, who was known for his groundbreaking rulings.

MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong, who also attended the wake, said Sri Ram was a great man.

"Once in a while, if I made mistakes in my press conferences, he would call me and guide me so that I did not go the wrong way," he said.

Others who attended the wake were Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun, former Dewan Rakyat speaker Tan Sri Azhar Harun, former communications and multimedia minister Gobind Singh Deo, former health minister Tan Sri S. Subramaniam, former attorney general Tan Sri Tommy Thomas, former deputy rural development minister Sivarasa Rasiah, Bangi MP Syahredzan Johan and Seputeh MP Teresa Kok.

Also present were Malaysian Bar president Karen Cheah, legal practitioners Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, Latheefa Koya and N. Surendran, among others.

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Gopal Sri Ram , wake , funeral


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