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Remembering Malaysia's MH17 victim: Safety adviser fuels his son's passion for medicine

Published on Aug 22, 2014 1:56 PM
(From right) Melvinderjit, Amarpal and Harbinder, along with relatives and friends at the paath da bhog for Karamjit Singh (inset) at Gurdwara Sahib Pulapol. -- PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - He was a guide book on life. Always advising them, teaching them about life and asking them to stand out from the rest in whatever they do.

According to his son Amarpal Singh, Karamjit Singh was a man full of wisdom. He encouraged the reading habit and brought them closer to reading.

"Since I was small, he used to bring us to the library in Ipoh. He introduced us to reading. We had a small library in our house.

"He was a great mentor, our life guide book. He told us that whatever we do, we're doing it for ourselves, not for him, my mother or others. His main concern was our studies, he just wanted us to do well," said Amarpal, who is studying medicine at the clinical school of Monash University in Johor.

According to him, his father gave him and his brother Melvinderjit Singh a lot of advice. "The only ones I can remember are - cut your nails, wash your hands.

Karamjit, 54, was a safety adviser with Esso Exploration and Production. He worked at the Usan oil field in the south of Port Harcourt in Nigeria.

"He is now the fuel to ignite my passion for medicine. I will use him as my inspiration for my studies and also career," said Amarpal, who was composed throughout his phone conversation with The Star.

Now, Amarpal, at the age of 22, has to shoulder the family burden.

"Many have come and showed their support to us. My mum ... she is much stronger now. She has moved on.

"Throughout this ordeal, we have all stuck together. Our relatives have also been very supportive," he said.

Amarpal said that his father was his inspiration and even though they didn't meet often due to the older man's commitments, their bond is still strong and he was used to the long-distance relationship they had throughout the years.

"Honestly, when something like this happens, nothing in this world will make you feel better. I can understand what the families are going through.

"Some of them have lost so many loved ones - worse than what we are going through. We don't want to hear any more condolences. We just want to carry on with our lives. A moment of silence will help us," he said.

After the incident, Amarpal wrote a personal piece on his father and said that in one day, their lives were turned upside down.

In the article dated July 23, he wrote: "I last saw my father about seven weeks ago. On that day he and my mother drove to Perak to see my younger brother, who is studying at Universiti Teknologi Petronas.

"They then drove to Johor to see me. I am studying medicine at the clinical school at Monash University there.

"We had dinner together. They stayed the night and left the next morning. That was the last time I saw him, the last time I hugged him.

"I am thankful that every time I spoke to him, I ended my conversations with 'I love you dad'."