‘Though harp is not around but his spiritual presence is with the team and as we see how CASSA, now CASSA MALAYSIA has made an impact in the country and globally, we know it is his continued guidance and blessings on us from heaven.’
TODAY REMEMBERING A VERY DEAR FRIEND HARPAJAN SINGH (1962-1999) SAYS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST PROF DR JACOB GEORGE
I was sitting in my office at a premier private hospital in Subang Jaya as its senior administrator, in 1999, when I received a call from the Star’s editorial team asking me to say a few words for their obituary on Harp as he was affectionately known to us.
That statement hit me like a bolt of lightning and I broke down immediately unable to contain the emotions.
I remember my staff rushing in to check on me hearing my cry and wondering what happened.
I was told Harpajan Singh then 37, passed away at 1.10am after a heart attack.
I thought there was some mistake as he was then on 37 and looked great as I visited him and we chatted as he was admitted at the same hospital for review and I never thought that this would happen.
Harpajan, better know as “Harp”, was The Star deputy news editor (Asean).
He is best remembered as “the Asean expert” among local journalists.
The news that he was no more was shocking as he was with the team at Lake View Club where we met to address consumer issues, over a meal and he had to leave.
His last words to me and the team gathered was:
“Chief, got to go! Promised to take my son to supper!”
Harp and I went a long way.
Both of us were from Penang.
We were brothers at arms. We addressed many community issues together, even when we were in the north.
We met whenever possible to address and update each other on the politics and issues.
Among the issues, the sacking of Anwar Ibrahim and his assault – the “infamous black eyed incident and others!”
We had access to former deputy then Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, current Premier Muhyiddin bin Haji Muhammad Yassin and other cabinet ministers and head of states!
Among them, the then Menteri Besar of Pahang Haji Adnan bin Haji Yaakob.
Harp, was instrumental in encouraging us to go into politics by setting up a MIC branch in Subang Jaya as not to upset Samy Velu then the MIC President and a relative by joining Gerakan in view our Penang connections.
After successfully setting up the branch and addressing community issues which got media attention and a great deal of praise for being different.
However it attracted enemies from within jealous of our success and after a prominent MIC leader was shot dead, we decided politics was not for us and CASSA was born!
Last night after 22 years Harp was in my dream and thought.
I said a prayer for him and wondered how his family is.
It would be great to catch up after over 22 years.
Though harp is not around but his spiritual presence is with the team and as we see how CASSA, now CASSA MALAYSIA has made an impact in the country and globally, we know it is his continued guidance and blessings on us from heaven.
Harps, we all miss our tea and eating sessions while addressing issues.
Miss you da – wish you are physical here as I can update you on current challenges, not that you are not aware from heaven, please continue to bless and uphold us as we continue this challenge of addressing community woes and grievances without fear or favor!