State funeral for Karpal

GEORGE TOWN - Karpal Singh will be given a state funeral on Sunday.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the public ceremony would be held at Dewan Sri Pinang in Light Street here from 9am to 11am. The cortege will then leave for the Batu Gantong crematorium.

"His casket will be draped with the Penang flag," said Lim.

He added that an emergency state exco meeting had decided that the Penang flag would be flown at half-mast until the funeral.

Lim, who is DAP secretary-general, said all party events nationwide would be rescheduled to after the funeral.

"All DAP offices will fly our flag at half-mast for a week to mourn our great loss."

As befitting Karpal's status in the party, it has set up a national funeral committee headed by DAP acting national chairman Tan Kok Wai as well as a state committee with state party chairman Chow Kon Yeow at the helm.

The wake is being held at Karpal's residence at 144A Jalan Utama here.

Karpal's ashes will be scattered in the sea on Monday morning.

His eldest son Jagdeep Singh Deo said: "On behalf of my family, I thank the state government for the honour bestowed on my father. He would have been very proud to be accorded this."

Earlier, there was wailing and tears flowed freely as the casket bearing Karpal's body made its way into his house, after the hearse arrived from Ipoh at 3.40pm under heavy police escort.

Karpal's eldest brother, Baksis Singh, 80, who, though appeared calm, said he was shocked and saddened by Karpal's sudden demise.

"But I believe this is God's will.

"We met last Sunday at the Wadda Gurdwara Sahib for Vaisakhi prayers and Karpal was his witty self. We were joking and having a great laugh," he said.

Karpal's passing brought back painful memories of their father Ram Singh Deo, who also died in a road accident.

Baksis recalled that their father was rammed by a car while riding in a rickshaw in Punjab, India.

Karpal leaves behind wife Gurmit Kaur, 66, and their four sons, Jagdeep, 43, Gobind Singh Deo, 41, Ramkarpal Singh Deo, 38, and Mankarpal Singh Deo, 26, and daughter Sangeet Kaur Deo, 34.

Among those who came to pay their last respects were Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Lim and Chow, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu, state Umno chairman Datuk Zainal Abidin Osman, state deputy police chief Deputy Comm Datuk A. Thaiveegan, Penang state assembly speaker Datuk Law Choo Kiang as well as numerous state leaders and Pakatan Rakyat members.