Karpal Singh Was A Coach In All Ways!

I’ve been following the life and the practices of this great man till one morning in April when I woke up to the very sad news that he had been  taken away from this world!

Like when he was alive (but actually more when he was dead) he moved a whole nation with the values and his practices he lived by with what I called his ‘3 Cs’ of courage, conviction and conscience. He was unwavering, consistent and steadfast when it comes to justice and fairness; he feared no one even if it meant offending foes and friends alike.

Indeed the world needs  more of such great people who are exemplary role models who can inspire many to walk this path that will make the world a great place to live.

All good coaches who chose to be coaches are supposed to do at least a measure of this, so that they make a difference. What more when someone like the late Karpal Singh went beyond the expectations of many. That’s why to me, he was a coach in all ways. You may ask how could he when was a lawyer and not a coach by training! Technically, you are right but humanly, he was over qualified!

Here is why. I always maintain this formula: effective coaches are 60% of qualities and 40% of competencies. By this alone, they can move people’s minds and hearts more than many acclaimed coaches who have thousand of coaching hours and credentials to support their names but yet could not even do it for themselves.

You see, when someone has the ability to win people’s trust to the highest level, they do not need to exert themselves. Their mere presence and their whispers are enough to move mountains. In this sense, Karpal could do this from a wheelchair!

We coaches have a lot to learn from this great man. We need to improve our character a lot more than striving to get all the As in credentials from the best coaching schools and universities all over the world.

Really, at the end of life, it is not about how much we have achieved but what we have become.

For Karpal, it was more than a lawyer that he had achieved but a ‘Tiger of Jelutong’ that he had become!

What will you learn from this great man to become the best person you can be?


There are some people like me who always find solace, excitement and nostalgia in their old hometowns especially where their roots of life started there. My old roots of 24 years  old came from my old birthplace and a sinking town called Teluk Intan. It will always be my green, green grass of home (as Tom Jones sings) no matter where I am.

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This happy but strange and unfamiliar feeling is often difficult to describe nor shared nor be understood by many, not even my dear wife, Angeline. She is a part of my life in all ways, but unfortunately not in this way. There’s nothing wrong with this and neither do I blame her (and the rest) for this ‘gap’ in our relationship. I guess it is the ‘inner world’ of mine where very deep understanding is needed and thus, many won’t be able to fathom that.  Perhaps only some of my town mates and class mates could share this part with me, and me with theirs too.

I bought up this subject this time because I just got back from there, and memories are simply too fresh to be forgotten. Strangely too, this visit is the second time in 4 months as I know there will be at least another two more times before 2014 ends.


Usually in my other trips there (over the past 34 years) there, I would normally go  through the same ritualistic itinerary of eating my favorite food, driving around the old neighborhood, passing by my alma mater again and again and attending mass service in my church there.

This particular trip was quite different; it was a special déjà vu of sorts for me. I did something more – I reconciled with my past.  Deep in me there  had been some events, things and people  where I had ‘ bittersweet’ experiences with. I had never felt easy with them for one reason or another.   This time instead of going past the rented house where I once lived, I actually stepped inside it and also went to the bedroom where most of my ‘naughty’ youth  activities took place.  I took courage too to speak to an ageing neighbour called BB who never liked me for my naughty streaks.

I’m so glad Iwith bb_small did all that to brighten up these dark passages of my early life. I felt this magical feeling of reconciliation and peace. A short prayer of thanks after this really put a nice closure to this past of mine. It’s really good now to feel complete, lighter and with peace all around and inside me.

I really want to encourage my readers and friends to do the same with their past, especially those parts that still hurt painfully for some reasons.  It’s no point still harboring feelings of sadness, anger or shame. Do not avoid it or bury it but instead face up to it and you won’t regret this.  I picked strength to do this because I reframed and saw this ‘bad past’ as a ‘good  present’ for it had  taught me some very important lessons in life.

This is why I can totally regard my old hometown and my past life there as always a place that welcomes me back. Indeed it will always be my green, green, grass of home, forever!

You can do the same and more too!  Do share your story with me!