Harinder Veriah LLM, of the law firm Lovell’s died suddenly and tragically on Jan 2 2000, two days after her 33rd birthday. In life and death this Indian woman from a Sikh family in Kuala Lumpur working (as a rare South Asian) in a British law office in Hongkong, and married to an Englishman, linked the worlds of Asia and the West. Eastern and western politics framed her life. Her father Karam Singh (1936-1994), a campaigning barrister, in 1959 became the youngest MP in the first parliament of independent Malaysia, sitting on the extreme left for the Socialist Party. Shortly after Harinder’s birth he was held in detention for four years under the Security Act for organizing a militant march of rubber plantation workers. (Her mother, Harbans Kaur, left to bring up three children, died when she was six). Since 1994 her life in Britain, Malaysia and latterly Hongkong, had been linked in deep mutual love with a man of equally patent leftwing background, Marxism Today’s Martin Jacques, whom she married in 1996. She was the daughter of the generation that won freedom. But she remained non-political, straddling and combining her worlds: proudly Malaysian, and multilingual, except in the ancestral Punjabi: the family spoke English.

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