Remember Karpal Singh and Nik Aziz on Thaipusam as two great icons for a New Malaysia that Pakatan Harapan wants to build after the last general election

On Thaipusam, I am always reminded of two great icons for the New Malaysia the Pakatan Harapan wants to build after the last general election: Karpal Singh and Nik Aziz.

On Thaipusam Day in 2013, Karpal Singh had a visit at his home from Tok Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat.

The then-menteri besar of Kelantan and mursyidul am (spiritual leader) of PAS celebrated his own 82nd birthday in Karpal’s home and offered him a slice of his birthday cake.

Even Utusan Malaysia gave a frontpage coverage on this, with the heading: 'Hari jadi Nik Aziz diraikan di rumah Karpal Singh' (Nik Aziz’s birthday celebrated in Karpal Singh’s home).

And Karpal Singh had this to say, “It was nice of him to come. We have our differences but we get along. My feelings even before this have been quite warm. He is one of those people whom you cannot hate, he exudes friendliness.”

That birthday meeting was one of the last spectacular moments of Karpal Singh that Malaysians remember. His struggle was cut short three months later, in a fatal road accident.

Nik Aziz posted on his Facebook on Karpal’s passing: “Perginya seorang tokoh yang berprinsip”.

Let Nik Aziz and Karpal be the example for all Malaysians to promote harmony, goodwill and tolerance among Malaysians across race, religion and culture in a New Malaysia so that Malaysia can be a model of peaceful multi-religious diversity for the world but also a showcase to the world to dismantle walls of misunderstanding, hatred and intolerance among religions and to build bridges of understanding, harmony and tolerance among different faiths.

On the first Thaipusam after the great result of the fourteenth General Election, let the example set by Karpal and Nik Aziz inspire Malaysia’s distinct contribution to international peace and human civilisation.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri