It’s victory for Singh Deo family of Malaysia

March 23rd, 2008 - 12:56 pm ICT by admin  

Kuala Lumpur, March 23 (IANS) Malaysia’s general election this month may have caused many upsets among the Indian diaspora, but the family of opposition lawyer-lawmaker Karpal Singh has emerged victorious. Though bound to his wheel chair after a 2005 road accident, Karpal Singh, 68, campaigned successfully to retain his Bukit Gelugor parliamentary seat.

One of Karpal’s four sons, Jagdeep Singh Deo, won the Datuk Keramat state seat.

Keeping him company in parliament will be another son, Govind Singh Deo, who won the Puchong parliamentary seat.

The family belongs to the opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP), which romped home as the second highest of the opposition flank, winning 28 seats, up by 16, in an opposition tally of 82 in a house of 222.

Govind Singh Deo bears a striking resemblance to his father and also speaks like him. He gives much credit to his father, having “learnt a lot” from him.

The 34-year-old is a lawyer who emerged from Lincoln’s Inn and heads the National Bureau for legal aid for the DAP.

“He is already on the prowl, getting to know his 75,000 constituents with daily meet-the-people sessions at markets, shops, homes and restaurants,” New Straits Times said Sunday.

Gobind has traded his legal robes for a simple T-shirt with a small DAP rocket logo imprinted above the left pocket as he makes his rounds in Puchong, Bandar Kinrara and Seri Serdang townships.

“As I expand my free legal aid and community services, I am recruiting additional assistants to get the job done.

Gobind added that it was time for him to make his presence felt as “a lot of people had heard of me but have not met me face to face”.

“There is a difference between meeting people and getting to know them. I must step into their shoes to know what state they are in, must discard protocol and be approachable.

“Now I am dealing with the reality of being a politician with proper planning, thanks largely to my wife (journalist-turned lawyer Sangeeta Kaur Sidhu) and my legal team,” said Gobind, who was admitted to the Malaysian Bar in 1996, a year after returning from Lincoln’s Inn.

Gobind said he had learnt a lot from his mentor, father and prominent DAP lawyer Karpal Singh.

“Dad has done it over the years, proving that it is not impossible to manage your business and be a parliamentarian.

“In fact, politics has become my hobby now. It complements my legal practice and kills the monotony (of being a lawyer),” said Gobind, DAP’s national legal bureau secretary.

On his role in parliament, Gobind said he would speak up on issues affecting not only his constituents, but all Malaysians.

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