The TIGER of JELUTONG celebrated his 70th birthday @ Berjaya Hotel in Penang on Saturday. It was a bash alright but one attended by family, close friends and political comrades. There were about 450 guests.
He was flanked by his beautiful wife Gurmit Kaur, children Jagdeep, Gobind, Sangeet, Ramkarpal and Mankarpal.
Karpal was all smiles, with his ten grandchildren, nine boys and a girl aged between 3-6 years, in tow, leading the way to the dinner hall.
He definitely has reasons to celebrate as he has recently escaped a second sedition charge and three year jail term for allegedly uttering seditious words against the Sultan of Perak.(malaysiakini)
As dinner was about to start, Karpal’s eldest son, 39 year old Jagdeep Singh Deo, paid his dad a heart-warming tribute, glorifying the former for being “courageous, selfless and principled” throughout his entire life.
He spoke of how his father’s struggles – defending the poor and downtrodden and representing them on pro bono basis – had inspired him to become a lawyer and politician.
Guests were reminded of Karpal’s frequent run in with the law – Internal Security Act, two Sedition charges and 103 police reports – which qualifies him to be in the Guiness Books of Records, Jagdeep joked.
He also told stories of the journey the family went through during Karpal’s incarceration in Kamunting detention camp following “Operasi Lallang”, which 106 people, including social and religious activists – detained without trial in 1987.
“He never gives up on justice. He had always persevered. Indeed he stands tallest among all of us,” said Jagdeep as he related how he became a lawyer himself after studying in Australia.
“There is an article which says that dad chose to be an ‘Uncommon Man’. I beg to differ. He did not choose it, he was born to be one,” he added, with a huge applause from the crowd.
The guests, who remained chirpy until the party ended, were entertained by various performances, including Indian and Western classical music by AkashaMalaysia, a five-piece band.
A 20 minute documentary featuring Karpal’s life and achievements in law and politics led everyone, especially his comrades, down memory lane, as they were reminded of each and every struggle, which he faced courageously together with the DAP.
Highlight of the night must be the charming show put up by Karpal’s grandchildren, who performed two songs for their illustrious dadajee.
During his brief speech before the party ended at 12 midnight, Karpal spoke lovingly about his spouse, who had faithfully stood beside him, through thick and thin, while journeying with him through the various trials and tribulations which marked his colorful life.
“Indeed she is beautiful and I pursued her. I could not have gone through life without her,” he said, later adding that he had also suffered and enjoyed much with his DAP colleagues.
He spoke to Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, calling her the ‘wife of the future prime minister of Malaysia’ and asked her to ensure that her husband (Anwar Ibrahim) manages the country well politically and legally (LOL).
Anwar was absent due to prior engagement. Karpal assured her that he will seek justice for Anwar, who will be vindicated, if not by court of law, by the ‘court of public opinion’.
At the end of his speech, Karpal invited everyone to look forward to his 80th birthday. The tiger, like the awesome oil painting above the reception desk leading to the ballroom, is not going to give up that easily.
‘Giving up’ is simply just not in his blood. Remember, he has the Altantuya dad’s RM100 million case against the government, Abdul Razak Baginda and the two policemen appealing their death penalty sentence for killing the Mongolian lady in 2006.
“We will meet again when I am 80, with the support of everyone, I will be able to drag along until then,” he said, while someone in the crowd shouted “more, more”.
During the ritual, his sons – Jagdeep and Gobind – fed their father with the pink colored buns, as if to remind everyone that the Tiger of Jelutong must never be left hungry, for none can withstand his roar, until justice is served.