Karpal Singh dies in crash

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Last Updated: 6:41pm, Apr 17, 2014

KAMPAR (April 17): DAP stalwart and Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh and his assistant was killed in an accident at KM306 of the North-South Highway near Gua Tempurung about 1am today.

His son, Ram Karpal was injured in the crash along with C. Selvam, the driver of the Toyota Alphard but both not seriously. However, an Indonesian woman believed to be a maid was critically injured.

Michael Cornelius, the loyal assistant who has been attending to Karpal's needs since he was wheelchair-bound in a 2005 accident was also killed. He was 39 years old.

They were on their way to Penang from Kuala Lumpur for a court case when the Toyota Alphard, according to police, hit the rear of a lorry that was said to be travelling slowly.

Ram, the driver and the maid are being treated at Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital in Ipoh.

The bodies of Karpal and Cornelius have also been sent to the same hospital.

The driver and co-driver of the lorry are being questioned by police.

Among those at the hospital was Penang Chief Minister and DAP secretary general Lim Guan Eng.

Both Karpal's and Cornelius' remains are expected to be taken to the former's home in Georgetown at 3pm today.

Karpal, 74 leaves his wife Gurmit and five children.

Karpal's funeral is expected to take place on Sunday, while plans for Cornelius is still uncertain as his family may want his body to be returned to India for the final rites.

Karpal's son Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo meanwhile tweeted about his father's passing: "With deep regret I announce the passing of my father YB Karpal Singh. Details will follow".

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak meanwhile also conveyed his condolences: "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".

Karpal had stepped down as DAP chairman on March 29 following his conviction for sedition where he was fined RM4,000, and risked losing his seat.

He had become wheelchair bound following an accident in Penang on Jan 28, 2005.

Meanwhile, police at the momment, are still unsure about the cause of the accident.

Although there were indications that the lorry may have swerved without warning into the Alphard’s path, police said initial investigations only indicate the lorry was moving very slowly on the left lane on a slope.

Police are also checking if the five-tonne lorry’s rear lights were working at that time.  

Bukit Aman traffic police chief SAC Mohd Fuad Abdul Latiff said the left side of the Alphard was crushed after it rammed into the right side of the lorry.

He said road conditions at the time of the accident were normal and it was not raining.

Police are questioning the lorry driver identified as Abu Mansor Mohd, 45.

He was in the lorry with two passengers known as Nur Azlina Ahmad, 23, and Nunrieman Diana Qhaleesha Abdullah, four.

The lorry was transporting cement, steel and tiles to Ipoh.

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