Minister Gobind on lessons learnt from irreplaceable Karpal Singh

Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo speaks  in George Town February 18, 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo speaks in George Town February 18, 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 6 — Minister Gobind Singh Deo still falls back on lessons he learnt from his late father and well-respected politician Karpal Singh and has fond memories of practising as a lawyer.

In an interview with local daily The Star, Gobind said that the basic principles he learnt from an icon like Karpal guided him when making difficult decisions.

“He had a huge impact on how I approached politics and law from a young age because of his consistency and persistence in bringing about the change he believed in.

“He would not back down, especially on matters of principle, and that's what we remember him for.

“That's what shaped Mr Karpal Singh,” the communications and multimedia minister was quoted saying in the interview.

In the same interview, Gobind said he did not think there would be anyone who could replace Karpal.

He said a challenging path awaited Pakatan Harapan that went from being the federal opposition to the government.

“And all of us need to make sure that we're in a position to do what's right and to make those difficult decisions,” he was quoted saying, noting that the ruling coalition must do what it could to improve life for Malaysians after being put in power.

Gobind told The Star that he had a lot of fun and laughter with Karpal when they were handling legal cases, adding that many did not know that the latter had actually been a humorous man.

“He's somebody I really enjoyed working with. Those are the memories I will always remember.

“Sometimes when I'm feeling a bit down, I'll think about those days,” he said in the interview.

Gobind also told The Star that he really misses practising as a lawyer, adding that the court cases that influenced him the most were those he handled in the latter years and involving constitutional law, such as Karpal's sedition appeal and former Universiti Malaya senior law lecturer Azmi Sharom's sedition case.

Gobind said he handled Azmi's case together with senior lawyer Datuk Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, and that all three were schoolmates who had known each other for a long-time with their families being friends from Penang.

“When you represent friends and your own father, then you realise it's not just lawyering.

“It's about being able to defend somebody and something that you really believe in,” he said in the interview.

The attorney-general in 2016 dropped the sedition case against Azmi which the latter hailed as common sense having prevailed, while the Federal Court in March this year unanimously acquitted Karpal posthumously of sedition over remarks made in 2009.

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