'No Vaisakhi in respect of Karpal' in Penang

A great loss: Penang celebrations are off

GEORGE TOWN - Today's state-level Vaisakhi celebrations have been cancelled as a mark of respect for veteran lawyer Karpal Singh who was killed in a road accident near Ipoh on Thursday.

Wadda Gurdwara committee president Balvinder Singh said the celebrations, which were supposed to be held at Penang Times Square, were cancelled in respect of Karpal's passing, one of the most prominent members of the local Punjabi community.

He described the Bukit Gelugor member of parliament's death as a great loss.

"We lost a great Sikh and Punjabi. All Punjabis grieve over Karpal's passing."

Penang Club member Terlochan Singh said a similar Vaisakhi celebration, organised by the Penang Sikh Association for next month, had also been cancelled.

Meanwhile, an elaborate plan has been drawn up to accord the "Tiger of Jelutong", as Karpal is fondly known, a state funeral tomorrow.

The cortege will leave his Jalan Utama residence here, for Dewan Sri Pinang at 8am, where his body will lie in state for the public to pay their last respects.

En route to the hall, the hearse will be driven past his alma mater, Saint Xavier's Institution, the George Town High Court where he was first called to the Bar in 1969, his legal firm in Green Hall and the state Legislative Assembly building along Lebuh Light where he first took the oath as Penang state assemblyman for Bukit Gelugor in 1978.

State Funeral Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said the public could pay their last respects between 9am and 10.30am. State dignitaries, representatives from political parties, associations could do so after 10.30am.

Family members would perform prayers before the cortege leaves for the Batu Gantung crematorium at 11am.

Meanwhile, Karpal's eldest son, Jagdeep Singh Deo, thanked the public for their wishes and prayers.

"In his lifetime, my father had never asked for any recognition or accolades for all the sacrifices he made and for his works and contributions. So, this is a big honour for him and our family. " said Jagdeep, who is Dato Keramat assemblyman.