Malaysia: The long-time dream of Amarpal Singh to have his father witness him graduate from medical school was quashed because of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 tragedy.
The 22-year-old’s father, Karamjit Singh Karnail Singh, was on board the ill-fated plane as he was returning home from work in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
“I was praying that it was not my father’s flight… but after confirming it with the airline, my worst fear became true.
“Our family is in disbelief and angry. Why would someone shoot down a plane full of innocent lives?” said Amarpal Singh when met at a Sehaj Paath (Sikh special prayer for the soul of the departed) held at his family house in Setiawangsa here.
Amarpal Singh said he took up medicine after learning about his father’s lifelong dream of becoming a doctor.
“My father always wanted to be a doctor and he told me how he wanted to save lives. But, he could not be one due to financial constraints.
“I was inspired by him. I wanted him to be there to watch me graduate in two years’ time.
“We were so happy to hear that he was coming to see us. We never expected such a thing to happen,” said Amarpal Singh, who is the elder of two siblings.
Karamjit Singh (54) was a safety adviser with Esso Exploration and Production, and worked at the Usan oil field in the south of Port Harcourt.
His wife, Harbinder Kaur, 52, said Karamjit Singh was on transit in Amsterdam and had six hours to spare before the flight to Kuala Lumpur.
“He wanted to walk around town. It was his first time in Amsterdam,” she said, adding that she hoped that her husband’s remains could be brought home for a proper cremation.
“Despite the body not being here, our utmost concern is to hold prayers to ensure the peace of the departed soul, as per Sikh tenets.”
Karamjit Singh’s eldest brother, Dr Rajinder Singh, 65, said his brother always put other people’s needs above himself and would go out of his way to help people.
He was the fifth among six siblings, born to the late Inspector Karnail Singh, who last served at the Tapah police station in Perak.
Meanwhile, one of Karamjit Singh’s bosses, ExxonMobil acting lead country manager Ernest Miller, said he was a dedicated employee, having served the ExxonMobil group for nearly 30 years.
“Many of us remember his warm and easy-going nature, which garnered him many friends.
“He was a dear friend, colleague and brother to many, and will be deeply missed.”
Karamjit Singh’s Paath da Bhog (concluding prayers) will be held on 29 July 2014 at the Gurdwara Sahib Pulapol in Jalan Semarak, Malaysia from 9.30am to noon.