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NEW DELHI: Feisty Malaysian opposition leader and Sikh MP Karpal Singh died in a road accident on Thursday.
Reports say the 74-year-old Sikh MP was on his way to Penang from Kuala Lumpur for a court hearing when his driver lost control of the car and hit a lorry.
According to the Malaysian Insider, Karpal Singh died on the spot. His assistant Michael Cornelius Selvam Vellu, who is from Tamil Nadu, also died in the accident. Michael’s body is being flown to Tamil Nadu.
Singh’s son Ramkarpal, the driver of the car and his maid survived. But the maid is said to be in a serious condition.
Karpal Singh’s body was removed from the van and taken to the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital in Ipoh for a post-mortem.
One of the foremost Sikh leaders of Malaysia, Karpal Singh was born in Penang in 1940. He got his law degree from the National University in Singapore.
He entered politics in 1970 by joining the Democratic Action Party or DAP. He was elected as an MP from Jelutong, Penang, in 1978 and held the seat till 1999.
For his fights against the establishment, he became famous as the `Tiger of Jelutong.”
He was wheel-chair-bound after he suffered a paralytic stroke in 2005.
Expressing his shock at Singh’s demise, Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is away in Turkey, said, “I have just landed at Ankara when I heard the news that YB Karpal Singh died in a road accident. My condolences to the family.’’