PETALING JAYA - Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak described former DAP chairman and Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh as an implacable leader and a committed advocate in law.
The Prime Minister said that with a career spanning five decades, Karpal's abilities made him a formidable opponent.
"In politics, he was an implacable leader; in law, a committed advocate," Najib said in his blog at www.1malaysia.com.my.
The Prime Minister is in Turkey on an official visit.
MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai urged the Government to intensify efforts to reduce the number of road fatalities.
"We are very sad to hear about his (Karpal's) death. We hope the Government will look more seriously into tackling the number of road deaths in the country," he said at a cheque presentation ceremony for the new SM Chong Hwa Kuantan school at Wisma MCA here yesterday.
Conveying the party's condolences to the family of Karpal for their loss, Liow said there were about 7,000 deaths due to road accidents in Malaysia every year.
Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that despite professing a differing political ideology, Karpal contributed much to the nation. He noted that Karpal was critical of the Government when he perceived that things were not right.
"Some of his criticisms might not be correct but some had basis. We need people from the opposition who talk sense," he told reporters after delivering a keynote address at the roundtable session on "Managing Rising Costs in the Current Business Environment" at Menara Matrade here yesterday.
Former MCA president Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik said that although he and Karpal were from rival parties, he shared a common history with Karpal, forged while they were at National University of Singapore.
He quipped that as a student, Karpal was not very hard-working.
"But he proved that just because you're a naughty student, it doesn't mean you will become a lousy lawyer because he turned out to be one of the best lawyers in the country," said Dr Ling.
Former MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, who locked horns with Karpal in and outside the Dewan Rakyat, said he was saddened by the MP's death.
"It is a very big loss for the country. Karpal was a parliamentarian who always raised issues which affected the people," he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Umno and the Government offered condolences to Karpal's family, adding that he was a senior parliamentarian whose voice was respected and feared.
"He attended Parliament even when he was not feeling well. He had his own way in debating and was skilful with the Standing Orders," he told a press conference after a closed-door meeting with the Penang Umno liaison committee at Hotel Equatorial Penang yesterday.
Sarawak Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing said: "We may not be on the same side of the divide but I admire his unwavering stand on certain political issues which he believed in.
"He dared to be different even with his party's stand if it was against his beliefs and principles."