The demise of Karpal Singh has certainly been felt by the length and breadth of not only our nation, but also our hearts. Call me drama queen if you like but I have been in deep reflection since news of his departure hit me squarely and deeply.
Looking at the many eulogies, condolence messages almost everywhere and the huge crowd that turned up at the funeral, Karpal Singh certainly left a HUGE VOID in our nation - one which cannot be filled ever again by anyone (but of course I do hope there will be others with the same spirit who will fight for justice).
Years down the road, many will still remember him, perhaps even study about him in history or in law. I am sure there are untold stories of how he touched many lives and I hope readers will send in as many of these to me - masterwordsmith at mac dot hush dot com.
This morning, I was cleaning the house after my usual round of reading my favourite websites. After doing the laundry and washing one part of the house, I progressed to my bathroom. As I walked there, I thought to myself, Karpal was 74 when he passed away -wheelchair-bound and with other ailments. Yet, he had the tenacity to fight for what he believed in, so much love for his son Gobind who had been hospitalised that he went to see him and then rushed back to Penang where he met the end of his journey halfway. And here I am, almost two-thirds his age, with half his energy and even less in records of achievement, perseverance and fortitude.
Even in terms of physical strength, I am ailing. But not Karpal Singh. I really wonder how he had boundless energy to do so much. Where was his source of strength? It must have been divine energy for all the people he had helped, many whom he did pro bono.
Whereas in the past, I could sweep, mop the whole house at one go, now - I can only sweep and mop upstairs in the morning and then downstairs in the evening. Whereas I could wash three bathrooms in a day, now I can only wash one bathroom a day and today, I only managed to scrub the floor, wash basin and toilet bowl of ONE bathroom. I had no energy left for the shower cubicle or walls. :-(
And then my thoughts went to Karpal Singh - a man who shaped my political perspectives and an inspiration to me for decades. He was the only man whom my dad, a staunch Gerakan supporter, believed in and respected fully. My dad and I differed in political opinions but where Karpal Singh was concerned, we both agreed easily. Never once did my dad question who I voted for in my constituency in Jelutong (till 2000) and Bukit Glugor (2000 till present).
What empowered Karpal Singh? Apart from divine energy, I believe it must also have been love for his wife, his family, his principles and beliefs. For a man who had given so much of himself to his clients, his party, his nation, his friends and most of all - his family, Karpal Singh has undeniably left an indelible legacy that will never be forgotten.
While scrubbing the floor this morning, tears rolled down as I asked myself what will I be leaving behind when I die?
I kid you not when I say I felt so weary, breathless and physically so tired and weak when scrubbing every tile of my floor. And I thought of Karpal Singh...a man who in 2005 had been an accident which left him wheelchair bound with sensory impairment and reduced motor strength. By then, he was unable to walk, or raise his right arm a few centimeters. Nonetheless, he continued without batting an eyelid, without giving up and he sat in the back row of the Parliament chamber, undeterred by his physical condition.
My thoughts went back to the time when I could not walk in 2002. Then, I was crying and lamenting day and night losing 10 pounds in 14 days. The rest is history...
With all these thoughts, I am truly awed by the man we call Tiger of Jelutong who was undaunted in all circumstances both day and night, with mobility or immobility in his quest for his beliefs. I feel the pain of his family who love him so and those who knew him well. Far beyond the pain, I see inspiration.
Yes, I am still tired today after two rounds of laundry, cooking, chores and work. But my reflections of Karpal Singh - his life and works have given me strength to carry on.
As I was about to finish cleaning my bathroom, I whispered a prayer to God and said..."Lord..I am weak...I feel as though I am reaching the end of the journey..what will I do if indeed one day I leave in the wink of an eye?"
And the song "I surrender all" came to my mind...I have been singing that the whole day today.
I will not fret, worry or moan and groan...but will concentrate on building my life, my family, my business etc so that when indeed I go, I can leave behind a legacy that can inspire others. It can never be like what Karpal Singh has left behind...but in my own way, I hope to be better...and to build a better Malaysia.
God bless you!
If you are a believer or a non-Muslim, you might want to check out this video which I have been listening to for the whole afternoon.
Israel Houghton (pronounced, hoh’-tin) (born May 19, 1971) is a Grammy Award-winning American Christian music artist, worship leader and singer-songwriter, mostly known for his cross-cultural style of Christian music that fuses elements from gospel, jazz and rock. Houghton is usually credited as Israel & New Breed and currently signed to Integrity Music. Houghton is a worship leader at Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. Click here to read more.