Author: Ramkarpal to contest father’s seat

Karpal Singh’s death left a huge void, in both the courts of Malaysia and its political arena.

However, the Tiger of Jelutong had in mind who should succeed him in his parliamentary seat of Bukit Gelugor, should he be thrown into jail.

It should come as no surprise that Karpal had, in his steel-trap mind, a contingency plan if the government finally succeeded in imprisoning him for his recent conviction for sedition.

If incarcerated, and therefore suspended from politics as per the local law, Karpal planned for his successor to be his son, Ramkarpal, who was with him in the car when he died.

The author of the 2013 biography, Karpal Singh – Tiger of Jelutong, New Zealand journalist Tim Donoghue, said he saw the veteran politician’s succession plan with his own eyes on the night before the May general election in 2013.

“There were about 100,000 people at the field in Penang. For some reason or another, the father said to the son, you should get up and address this crowd.

“I think he was saying, in his own mind, that he would very much like his successor in the electorate to be his son, Ramkarpal.”

Ramkarpal, alongside his mother Gurmit Kaur and sister Sangeet, had masterminded the Bukit Gelugor campaign, resulting in a 41,000-vote majority for Karpal, and Donoghue said they carried it out with military precision.

Karpal had told Donoghue of his plan for Ramkarpal to succeed him should the sedition conviction result in a prison sentence – a prophecy, now, that could well be fulfilled in the wake of his death.

“Karpal told me on a number of occasions, if and when he got nailed by the establishment in terms of losing the sedition appeal, his successor would very definitely be Ramkarpal.

“I know that was what was in the mind of the father for the boy who was injured in the vehicle with him.”

A proud father

Donoghue said Karpal died as he lived, working around the clock for human rights in Malaysia, trying to achieve political equality within the country.

“But I think he realised that constitutionally, within his lifetime, he would never truly see equality in terms of the racial make-up of who controlled the power in Malaysia, but he did have hopes Malaysia would become a more equitable society within the lifetime of his children.”

His five children were a particular source of pride for a man who had much to be proud of.

Until recently, eldest son Jagdeep led the law office of Karpal Singh and Co in Penang, where Karpal was most at home, for about 20 years, Donoghue said.

Gobind had already established a political career in his own right, and having already been banned “left, right, and centre”, he was “really a chip off the old block”.

In terms of being a lawyer, Karpal regarded his daughter as the best, Donoghue said – there was “a bit of the smiling assassin” about Sangeet.

The father had a great deal of admiration for his daughter, and they would often be seen having lunch at the courthouse, laughing and joking.

“I know that Karpal valued immensely the last eight or nine years, the time he was able to spend with his lawyer daughter. He would not have spent that time with her had he not had his injury.”

His youngest child, Mankarpal, who Karpal initially named after himself, only to emerge from detention under the ISA to discover the baby’s name had been changed, was “the only one with any brains, not going into the law,” Karpal would joke about the banker.

“So the tiger has bred a bunch of cubs who are going to carry on with his work. And I’ve got no doubt his children, as members of the legal fraternity, will carry on what he started,” Donoghue said.

In an interview with Malaysiakini a week before he died, Karpal spoke of the possibility he would be ineligible to remain in the seat if he was jailed.

Planning a ferocious fight in the Federal Court, Karpal seemed to accept, with a certain inevitability, that this was one he would not win.

“If, at the end of it, I have to go, then that’s too bad. There’ll be a by-election. It’s a very strong seat, I think we will win it hands down. There should be no problem,” he said.

The Election Commission will meet on April 24 to determine the nomination and polling date for a by-election.

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Ramkarpal burns midnight oil on appeal

After having lost his father in an accident a week ago, Ramkarpal Singh was forced to burn the midnight oil with a colleague to draft the petition of appeal to set aside Anwar Ibrahim’s Sodomy II conviction.

His colleague Zaleha Al Hayat, who is also attached with the firm of the late Karpal Singh, filed the petition at 1.40pm at the Federal Court registry.

She said the petition had to be filed by 3pm today, or else, the opposition leader could have landed in prison to serve his five-year sentence.

“We (Ramkarpal and Zaleha) have been working since 6pm yesterday to write the grounds of appeal,” she said, adding that it was concluded this afternoon in Kuala Lumpur.

Ramkarpal, who was also involved in the accident that killed his father and the latter’s personal aide, immediately left for Penang to attend prayers for Karpal.

Zaleha (right) said a copy of the appeal would also be furnished to the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

The lawyers were forced to draft the petition of appeal after the Federal Court Registry denied Anwar’s application for an extension following his lead counsel Karpal’s death.

Among the 35 grounds stated in the petition of appeal was that the appelate court had erred in concluding that there was penetration.

The petition stated that Hospital Kuala Lumpur doctors, who examined complainant Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, wrote that there was “no conclusive evidence of penetration” in their report.

It also stated that the Court of Appeal failed to appreciate the testimony of the two Australian experts and also Pusrawi local doctor Dr Osman Abdul Hamid who first examined Saiful.

The lawyers also stated that the appellate court, which convicted and sentenced the opposition leader to five years imprisonment last month, was wrong in reversing the Kuala Lumpur High Court decision not to accept evidence from the politician’s police cell on the grounds that it was illegally obtained.

Other grounds

Other grounds filed included:

The appellate court was biased and there was misdirection in claiming that Anwar’s counsel purposely delayed the hearing of the appeal;

If the appellate court had accepted Dr Osman’s evidence, it would have brought Saiful’s testimony into disrepute;

The trial judge and also at the Court of Appeal should adopt adverse inference against the prosecution’s failure not to call Dr Osman, as he was an important witness for them, being the first to inspect Saiful (right in picture);

The appellate court misdirected itself in not accepting the testimony of expert witnesses Dr David Wells and Dr Brian McDonald, whereas they are competent and have the necessary qualifications. The court further misdirected itself by calling them armchair experts;

The court should have taken into consideration that there are serious doubts in the results obtained by the local chemists as their analysis may be partial or one-sided when it failed to report certain alleles;

The court also misdirected itself in deciding there was no degradation in the samples retrieved from Saiful’s anus;

The appellate judges misdirected themselves in making adverse comments over Anwar’s statement from the dock as it is within his rights. They also made a serious misdirection in deciding that Anwar and other defence witnesses’ testimonies had proven the prosecution’s case beyond reasonable doubt;

The appellate court was wrong in drawing an inference on Anwar for not calling alibi witnesses and this resulted in the judges to become prejudiced against the PKR de facto leader;

There was also serious misdirection when the court accepted investigating officer Supt Jude Blacious Pereira’s evidence, as his application to be an advocate and solicitor was rejected, based on the Suhakam Public Inquiry into the arrest and detention of five lawyers of the Kuala Lumpur Legal Aid Centre, that affects his credibility;

There was serious misdirection when the court determined that the DNA of ‘Male Y’ is that of Anwar, whereas there are doubts in the testimony of the local chemist over this;

Saiful’s evidence was only fabrication which is supported by his delay in lodging a police report two days after the incident and the HKL doctors had written there was no conclusive evidence of penetration. Dr Osman had also testified in his report that “penetration was done by a plastic object”.

No dates have been fixed yet on when the Federal Court, the highest court in the country, will hear the appeal.

What’s Your Problem, Tony?

MatRodi

No, I’m not referring to Tony Stark- the narcissist billionaire who literally fly with his iron suit.

Rather, I’m talking about our homegrown billionaire-  Tony Fernandes who enables more people to fly.

KLIA2 KLIA2

WHEN IT STARTED

For those who still remember, in 2009 Sime Darby and AirAsia came out with a proposed RM1.8 billion LCCT project in Labu. The reason? AirAsia- the fastest growing and largest low-cost airline in Asia needs a permanent home. But why they refuse to locate their home in KLIA when Klia has 25,000 acres, bigger than Putrajaya is still a mystery. Maybe there is still not enough space for the 25 million Air Asia passengers.

Another reason is, AirAsia should operate their own airport. It is an open secret that in the eyes of AirAsia, MAHB is an inefficient airport operator. MAHB has purchased the wrong radar, MAHB can’t use KLIA’s sophisticated conveyor belt really well, MAHB fails to upgrade KLIA’s security…

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