Sunday, August 10, 2014

The forgotten and forsaken driver

Screen shot 2014-08-10 at 9.34.50 AM
In the midst of deep mourning and intense sorrow after two lives were lost in a tragic road accident, one man was forgotten and forsaken.

Judged even before he was tried in court, C. Selvam from India was left high and dry in Taiping Prison after he was charged with reckless driving and causing the deaths of Karpal Singh and his assistant Michael Cornelius.
Languishing in prison where no one visited him or bothered to post his bail, he was consumed with sadness until Parti Cinta Malaysia (PCM) vice president Huan Cheng Guan did so on humanitarian grounds.

Kindness and compassion costs nothing. It is simply a matter of having the will to do it.
DAP, on the other hand, has been defensive of its failure to help Selvam.
According to its Legal Bureau chief, Gobind Singh Deo, DAP was unable to offer legal assistance to Selvam because the party is representing the families of Karpal and two others.
While that is true, I cannot fathom why it is wrong, impossible, even immoral for DAP or the families of the victims to at least visit Selvam, a man who faithfully served the late Karpal till his demise.
Was it completely impossible to arrange for legal aid from PKR or PAS?
Well, it appears that DAP uses a selective process when it comes to offering gestures of goodwill.
Just look at how Lim Kit Siang jumped at the opportunity to milk free publicity and political mileage by offering free legal service (even though she did not ask for it) to a a certain well-off but rude woman who assaulted an old man on the road.
How can anyone leave a faithful and loyal employee in the lurch to suffer in prison for almost a month with the lame excuse that it would be unethical to legally assist him?
There are other alternatives, but none was explored by DAP.
Such cold-heartedness clearly indicates that DAP has already judged Selvam and passed the verdict of guilty although he has yet to be tried in court.
Selvam was employed by the late Karpal’s family. If the court finds him guilty, then the family members themselves can be tried for the driver’s negligence. Clearly, they have chosen not to acknowledge this.
After the tragic accident, few if any interviewed Selvam.
The news focus was first on the demise of Karpal Singh, and then it switched to the lorry driver, who was found to be high on drugs and who switched lanes without flashing his indicator.
Later, the Attorney-General chose to charge Selvam for reckless driving and, from then onwards, the loyal driver was forsaken and forgotten.
Well, it’s good to know that there are angels among us after all. Not only did Huan post bail for the driver, he also took him for a good KFC meal and followed that with a trip to Tesco.
Huan bought the driver new clothing, toiletries and a luggage bag. He also bought him a handphone and all the neccesary accessories so Selvam could get in touch with his family in India.
Selvam’s mother also spoke to Huan and cried throughout the telephone conversation.
Touched by his kindness, Selvam thanked Huan from his heart and promised he would never forget his gestures.
Huan also made arrangements for accommodation for Selvam and helped him renew his visa.
Here is a man of compassion, a man who saw another man’s plight and decided to help, even to the extent of staying on in Kampar until Selvam had engaged a lawyer to defend him.
Everyone deserves kindness and justice, both of which can be offered freely if one chooses to do so.
The burning question is why DAP chose to forsake Selvam by using legalities?
If DAP can be cold and callous even towards an employee of its former chairman, can the party be expected to fulfil the roles and responsibilities of governance with care and compassion?

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