Thursday, 22 December 2011

Looking Back, Looking Forward

The Wedding is undoubtedly the most significant event in my life this year. Ann Quah said yes when the proposal was made and by 5th Nov 2011, we registered our marriage and hosted a Wedding lunch for our respective families. 

The proposal was done at Phuket. Ann (I think) did not expect it at all. Teh and Yee Suan were also at Phuket for a joint holiday. Ashley followed too. It was rather cute, as Suan kept on insisting that Ashley ought to go to their room to play with Helena. Unknown to Ann, I was planning to propose. 

So in the still of the night, and the silence of the nicely decorated room, I posed the proposal and offered the ring. She looked surprised, but I was confident she would say yes. And she did. (Yes!!)

That was in March 2011. We sorted out our plans and on 5th Nov, we invited the Registrar to a joint Family Wedding lunch, where we registered our marriage witnessed by our family members. The lunch was at the Courtyard Garden, and it was a nice background to a nice wedding. 

Am also very glad that my parents are healthy and happy. Guess they are glad they 'got rid' of their pesky son and can make good use of that extra room in our home. (haha!)

Ann's parents and brother have been great. They are understanding and caring. Hope not to let Ann's parents down. 

But the most important person was of course, Ashley. Not everyday a little girl see their mum get married. It would have been a huge impact on her. Whilst I will never replace her dad (in fact, I always encourage her to retain contact and meet her dad as often as she can), I do hope to lead by example and try to give her a good life. 

My sister is still in S'pore. Am concern that life in that island is slowly eating her up. She is so consumed with her work, just wish she could get a break. Really miss her. Wish we were closer, but I suppose we have different perspective of life. 

As 2012 inches closer, I look back at the last 38 years of my life, and cherish the experiences I gain, the lessons I learn as I chart the next course of my life, now together with Ann. We look forward to 2012. 

Monday, 14 November 2011

611 in 2011

Its becoming more and more difficult to find quality time to write on this blog. Usual issues = work, Bar etc.. Life has been unrelenting.

Last week, celebrated a rather quiet Birthday. Was recovering after a tiring but exhilarating wedding the day before. Yeap, got married on the 5th Nov 2011 to Ann Quah.

Always felt Weddings is a little over-rated. But Weddings, to me, is about the congregation of people who are important to you. It is this meeting of old friends and relatives; which ought to be more important, than say, the colour of the ribbon on my wedding car. 

I was so so pleased to see all my very close friends at the wedding. Chow Hoong was momentous as the best man. He did all he could to ensure everything went well. I am indebted to him (and really hope he will marry soon so that I can return his good deed to him. LOL).

All the other very close buddies were there too. Teh & Suan plus little Helena, Si-puteh,  Yee Meng, Theam Hock, Chee Seng & Shirley, Keng Wah & wife, Sze Meng & Van, Pooi Ling (& Dom), Nien Yi & Pooi Foon.

Soon Seng could not make it; but it is understandable. To travel all the way from US just for a few days, would not be practical. In any event, we all plan to meet at Bali next June 2012, where Ann and I will "host" another wedding dinner there with all our respective buddies. We'll meet there instead.

Was pleased to see relatives of both side there too, and also some friends of my parents. 

My parents & May Leen were extremely supportive. They were very understanding, and I think they made the wedding very smooth on the Wee side of the family.

Ann's parents were also very understanding. They have accepted me into their family, and I cant really ask for more.

Ashley was trying to be in the thick of action all the time. Must have been an exciting day. Not everyday one get to see their mum getting married.

But most important of all was Ann. She was calm most of the time, supportive and steady. The very spirit of a lady which charmed me to marry her.

A note of thanks to the Chi Muis who helped out and ensured Ann remained calm.

Also a note of thanks to Sarah who helped out with the macaroons and; Yip Xiaoheng and Calvin Khoo who helped out with the AV.

So after all that, 6th Nov 2011 was really a quiet day with the Wifey. Recuperating after the busy 2-3 months of planning and execution of the plans. I am 38 years old, and hope the next year will be a calm year, a steady year and most of all, hope it will be a happy year. At the end of the day, all we want to be; is Happy!

Thank you.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Freedom of Speech, comes with responsibility & accountability

In recent times, Malaysia sees numerous comments and announcements made by Politicians and Leaders of Organisations which borders on insults and threats based on religious and racial lines. This is somewhat unfortunate and strongly discouraged.

What is more disturbing is the reliance by the makers of these insulting comments; on the Civil Liberty to Freedom of Speech, when making these unfortunate comments. 

The Federal Constitution allows and in fact guarantees the freedom of speech. Parliament has however curtailed that with the Sedition Act, which if a statement is defined to be seditious based on that Act, a person can be charged in Court. 

This is somewhat an unhealthy position of the Law.

The right to free speech ought to prevail at all times. However, the person relying on that right to free speech, must also be responsible. Sedition Act may be one way to control the kind of speech and comments a person can make, but the better way though is to educate the person and the people on respecting people. It would be ideal to educate the people that if one does not like to hear an adverse comment of himself/herself; that person ought not to the same to others. 

Also, freedom of speech by logic cannot mean to insult or to bully. It is incorrect to rely on the right of  freedom of speech to insult or to threaten another person. And it is also incorrect to gag the person by imposing the Sedition Act. 

Instead this Government, being an elected government of the people, by the mandate of the people should inspire the people and take responsible steps to ensure people are accountable and responsible when making careless and inconsiderate comments. 

The ICCPR, a Convention of the United Nations also recognises that people who incites hatred, can be taken action against. Article 19 mandates sanctions against people who incites hatred. So, even the progressive organisations like UN which heavily advocates human rights through its documents like the UNDHR acknowledges that the freedom of speech does not include the right to incite hatred. 

You may read more of ICCPR here

In time, we hope the Government of Malaysia will take the lead of appointing leaders who will make responsible comments and would not tacitly promote comments by irresponsible leaders of Organisations, which is calculated to incite hatred and division amongst the people. 

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Better Lawyers, Better Bar (From the Star 8/11/2011)


THE National Young Lawyers Committee of the Bar Council recently held its Young Lawyers Convention on July 1-3 in Malacca. The convention, which takes place once every three years, saw about 140 lawyers from all over Malaysia in attendance.
The theme for the convention was “Towards a Better Bar”, which is consistent with the NYLC’s project to push our lawyers, particularly the young ones, to continue improving themselves.
The logic of this is that better lawyers will likely lead to better interpretation and implementation of the law. Higher standards incorporated into our legal profession and our legal system would result in Malaysia becoming an attractive regional legal hub like Hong Kong and Singapore.
The theme also included a holistic improvement of Malaysian lawyers, to not only advocate for intellectual progress, but also for moral and benevolent development.
In fact, many times at the convention, speakers reminded lawyers to maintain the highest ethical standards, and to conduct themselves with integrity and responsibility.
The convention impressed upon the delegates that being a lawyer signifies an important professional position in society, where elements of trust and principles are intertwined with the need to maintain high intellectual capacity when discharging their duties as advocates and solicitors.
In short, it isn’t easy to be a lawyer, but if you are one, you strive to be a good lawyer and an honest one, too.
With the theme in mind, the NYLC worked closely with the Bar Council’s Continuing Professional Develop ment (CPD) Committee.
The convention discussed the need to increase the quality of the content of the CPD at the Bar. Young lawyers were urged to attend CPD classes to acquire extra knowledge on practical aspects of legal practice.
Further to this theme of self improvement, the NYLC is proposing to form Work Practice Groups (WPGs), where young lawyers can join small groups under the mentorship of senior practitioners in specialised areas of the law like international arbitration or cross-border transactions.
The aim is for young lawyers to learn better and quicker under experienced mentors.
Going global
Young lawyers were also encouraged to attend conferences and conventions overseas. Subject to costs, these international law conferences would be a gateway to international networking and learning.
Other aspects of improvement would be for the NYLC to assist young lawyers to set up their own legal firms and to learn the proper way to do so.
The NYLC will be working with a department in the Bar Council which organises the “Getting Started” seminars. These seminars provide excellent insight into the “how and what” of setting up legal firms.
The NYLC also recognises that to ensure young lawyers continue to strive for excellence, the work conditions must also be commensurate with that desire.
The prospect of better remuneration and a better working environment at legal firms would be a good driving force to ensure that young lawyers will want to improve, and to continue staying in legal practice.
Bar Council statistics show that more than 60% of the lawyers in Peninsular Malaysia are in practice for less than three years. The principal reasons for many lawyers leaving practice after the third or fourth year are usually the high level of work stress and uncertain remuneration.
It would be difficult to urge young lawyers to improve themselves when they cannot see a bright future in terms of career advancement and better remuneration.
With that in mind, the NYLC will conduct a national survey on remuneration and career advancement within the next six months to obtain statistics on the views of young lawyers on their work conditions. The results of that survey may lead to forums and dialogues with the employers of the young lawyers.
The convention also saw the re-visiting of section 42 of the Legal Profession Act 1976 (LPA) which states that lawyers have a duty to uphold the cause of justice without regard to their own interests, without fear or favour, and that there is a duty to protect and assist the public in all matters ancillary or incidental to the law.
The delegates at the convention, in subscribing to the spirit and intent of the theme, spoke of their moral duties to uphold justice at all times. Section 42 of the LPA became a battle-cry in one of the sessions at the convention when discussing activism at the Bar.
When the Statement of the Con vention was issued at the end (as further described below), the delegates added a provision in the statement calling for the authorities in this country to adhere to the Federal Constitution and that the young lawyers are prepared to stand up and defend the law if the law is incorrectly and improperly implemented.
At first glance, the convention may look like a stew with too many spices or like a plate too full for the NYLC to handle. To the contrary, many spices are required to make the stew better and the varied ingredients will ensure the Bar remains progressive and at the cutting edge of the law.
A five-point statement was issued at the close of the convention. Fondly dubbed the “Malacca Statement”, reflecting the location of its birth, it reflects the theme of the convention, calling for the implementation of projects towards achieving a better Bar.
There are many classy and intelligent lawyers in Malaysia, and the Malaysian Bar is a strong Bar. Of course there may be a few bad apples among the Bar but the NYLC will focus on the strengths of the Bar and harness that quality to ensure the Bar strives forward.
The NYLC intends to challenge young lawyers who join the Bar to move outside their comfort zone and to push them to persevere and persist towards progress.
> The writer is the Chairman of the National Young Lawyers Committee. Putik Lada, or pepper buds in Malay, captures the spirit and intention of this column – a platform for young lawyers to articulate their views and aspirations about the law, justice and a civil society. For more information about the young lawyers, please

Friday, 8 July 2011

Our Rights, Our Liberty

The Government can Shut Down our Telecommunication,
or Block Off Our Roads

But No One, can Shut Down our Rights,
nor Block Off Our Liberties

Thursday, 30 June 2011

The Convention on the horizon

After intense planning and organising for the last 4 weeks or so, the Young Lawyers Convention has dawned upon us at the Bar.

Vince Chong has stepped up and took ownership of the project, together with Ms Kamala, the Executive Officer of NYLC of the Bar.

With less than 48 hours to go, before the Convention starts, we can only do so much the next day or so. Much last minute planning is on-going behind the scene.

Unfortunately the on-going detention and arrests of people behind BERSIH is depressing, not because of BERSIH, but the fact that the Law has been severely abused and used by the Government for their own means. Arbitrary declaration that BERSIH shirts are illegal without proper source of the Law is a clear sign of Dictatorial means of administration.

But arrest or no arrest, the Young Lawyers Convention 2011 goes on.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Young Lawyers Convention 2011 : Updates

Below are the Sessions to be held at the Young Lawyers Convention 2011:-

1.   TOPIC 1 : Liberalisation of the Bar: Are you ready for a Liberalised Bar?

TOPIC 2 : Giants of the Bar

TOPIC 3 : Professional Development Classes: Future of PDC in the Bar

3.   TOPIC 4 : Working Conditions of a Young Lawyer:  The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

4.   TOPIC 5 : Activism and the Bar: No Time or Can’t be Bothered?

TOPIC 6 : The Colorful Committees in the Bar Council


Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Young Lawyers Convention 2011 : Updates

Another tweaking of the Logo. Bar Council going with the English name of the state of Malacca.

As of 15th June 2011, about 45 sponsored spots are available for the Young Lawyers Convention. KDU Law School has also confirmed that the School will sponsor 2 students. Sarawak Bar is also sending a delagate of either 2 or 3 Young Lawyers over.

Hopefully all will come together for this Convention. So far, so good.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Young Lawyers Convention 2011 : Tentative Program

Day 1: 1 July 2011 (Friday)

12:00 pm                                 Arrival at Everly Beach Resort
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm                 Check in
03:00 pm                                 Registration
04:00 pm                                 Opening
                                               Opening Speech
                                               Guest Of Honour’s Speech and Formal Launch
05:00 pm – 07:00 pm                Session 1: Liberalization of the Bar & effect on Young Lawyers
07:00 pm – 08:00 pm                Dinner
08:00 pm – 09:00 pm                Icebreaker

Day 2: 2 July 2011 (Saturday)
09:00 am – 10.30 am              Session 2: Professional Development Classes & the Future
10:30 am – 10:45 am              Short Break
10:45 am – 12:30 am              Session 3: Working Conditions of the Young Lawyers
12:30 am – 01:30 pm              Lunch
01:30 pm – 03:00 pm              Session 4: Activism and the Bar
03:00 pm – 04:00 pm              Session 5: Inspiring Stories; "Giants who raised the Bar"
05:00 pm – 07:00 pm              Telematch
08:00 pm                               Gala Dinner

Day 3: 3 July 2011 (Sunday)
09:00 am – 10:15 am              Reflection
10:15 am – 10:30 am              Break
10:30 am –  Noon                   Conclusion

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Young Lawyers Convention 2011 : Updates

The YL Convention 2011 is about 4 weeks away. 

Next week, the 'advertisement' & 'marketing' blitz for the Convention will kick start. Vince Chong, the Deputy for NYLC, has been a brilliant partner in the Organising team. He has definitely stepped up, and this augurs well for NYLC. He may one day be the next KL YLC or NYLC leader. 

The Convention will host Forums and Talk-Shows on Liberalisation of the Bar & its effect on Young Lawyers; Work Conditions of the Young Lawyers and what the Bar can do and future of the Professional Development Classes at the Bar. 


Entry fee is RM100 per lawyer only; with the Bar Council subsidising the balance. The fee includes accomodation and food at Everly Beach Resort, Klebang, Melaka (formerly known as Riviera Bay"). In my view, that is pretty good deal, for a 2 night package. The Resort is just beside the Klebang beach. Not the most beautiful beach in the world, but it is a private beach only for the Hotel residence.

NYLC hope to inspire the Young Lawyers to take charge of their future in the Bar, and to shape the future they want for the Bar. It all leads towards a better Bar for the future. 

If you are interested, please send e-mail to Bar Council's Executive Officer at

Will state the name of Speakers and name of Topics in future posting. 

Shape the Future!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Young Lawyers Convention 2011

Come July, the National Young Lawyers Committee will host the 2011 Young Lawyers Convention. It will be held at Melaka.

Watch out for more news on that.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

E-filing must be re-looked

Looking at what is happening at Duta Court, particularly the filing area, I cant help but notice many younger lawyers waiting for their documents to be scanned. When asked, many informed that they have to sometimes wait for hours to get the document scanned for e-filing.

This is reminiscence of (and still ongoing) the long wait at KL Sessions and Magistrates with the fast track system, where young lawyers would have to wait wait & wait. Much time is lost, and what is worst is that there is little or nothing much to learn from all these.

The Lawyers at RWY sometime spent a few hours just to file cause papers. And even if we scan at our office and bring a CD to Court, the scanning at office itself can take a few hours if the cause papers are voluminous.

I can only conclude that this e-filing is a bane to all lawyers, and the young lawyers particularly face the brunt of the problem, having to spend so much time at Court. This wasted time can be used to learn more legal work etc etc.

Given; that any young professional would have to go through the pain or burn the midnight oil as the person starts off his/her career; but surely waiting, waiting and waiting at Courts; is not part of the bargain. The young lawyers may grow frustrated and this frustration can lead to disillusionment.

It is crucial that this e-filing system be temporary withdrawn and re-worked before implementation. We hear of contracts signed which require this to go on; but no contract can work if the users do not wholly benefit, and more negatives arise than positives. For the sake of the younger members, it is hope this can be withdrawn. NYLC is assisting the Court Liaison Comm at Bar Council to improve the system, but i personally feel, the e-filing as it is now, cannot and should not go on.

The Courts MUST re-look at the e-filing.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

End of KPI?

Dear lawyers,

Since the new Bar Council took office in the middle of March 2011, the principle focus has been to sort out the KPI Resolution at the AGM. Re-cap : at the last Bar AGM, the members almost unanimously put a vote of no-confidence against the KPI system imposed in Court, as it has curtailed Justice at the expense of statistics. 

Since then, the Office Bearers have met the CJ & gang, many times and to summarise, (as at 4th April 2011); this is more or less what has happened:-

1. OB met CJ about 2 weeks ago.

2. OB re-visited the results of a Joint meeting between Judiciary & BC in JAnuary 2011. At that meeting, a few points were agreed (adjournment issue/witness issue/force-to-close case early issue etc etc).

3. CJ inform President, no more KPI

4. OB met BC a few days after that meeting

5. BC gave mandate to OB to push thru a new Practise Direction (PD), to legislate better management of cases (adjournment/witnesses/written submission etc etc)

6. A PD was drafted and presented to CJ & gang about 10 days ago.

7. The same draft PD was discussed at the Session Court Judges/Magistrate Conference at Melaka last weekend. 

8. Many phone calls exchanged between OB & CJ/CJM etc

9. Draft PD more or less agreed. 

10. Meeting between OB & CJ plus gang on 4/4/2011 to iron out the draft PD

11. Now waiting for CJM (who was ill and absent at the said meeting) to revert and confirm

12. If all goes well, maybe (just maybe) a Joint Press Conference will be held between CJ & OB of BC to sort this out. 

* on many occasions, Brendan Siva (Court Liaison Chair) & Rajpal Singh (Criminal Practice Comm Chair) followed OB to meet CJ & gang. 

So, maybe; if all goes well, OB can make a joint announcement on this issue this week.. Keeping fingers cross, and working hard on this issue.



Friday, 1 April 2011

Malaysia Really Boleh!

We see the best of Malaysia, in the past week:-

1.  No Poco-poco allowed in Perak, Fatwa of Perak's Muslim Body

2.   3 Datuk, 1 was in a video, 2 were at Press COnference, all 3 behind the screening a sex video, apparently recording a sexual encounter between a man who look like Anwar Ibrahim. Out of the 3, one is a former UMNO man who is a former PKR man, who is now an UMNO man again. The 2nd is a former Chief Minister who allegedly fucked young Girls. The 3rd Datuk has poor management of his mustache is apparently a straight man involved in a crooked bridge contract.

3.   Related to this, the very Datuk alleging that Anwar Ibrahim was in that sex video, threaten to sue people who allege that he allegedly fucked young girls when he was a Chief Minister. 

4.   MACC officer watch porn while interrogating Teoh Beng Hock. We now know what happened I suppose?

5.   No more KPI? Will Judges be more interested in statistics of case completion or achieving Justice?

6.    The Home Minister of the BN Government say Government in fair and dont like people attacking religions, but went on to 'chop', for Christians only on Bahasa Melayu Bibles.

7.     A member of Parliament, representing the best of Malaysia attacks ladies as poor drivers, received criticism for that from Women, and then allege the criticism is 'sexual harassment'. Classic!

Malaysia, Truly Boleh!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Our Country

Our Country continue to fall deeper into an abyss of Immorality &; Impropriety, when we have High Court decisions allowing usage of a DNA which was improperly obtained but deem appropriate merely because the arrest of the person is lawful.

Our Country continue to see the corruption of the mind and soul of young Malaysians with sex scandals merely to get rid of 1 man. Where the laws are clear that to produce or to show pornographic material is illegal; Instead the producer or person showing the video is protected; and the actors in the video is imputed.

Our Country continue to be plundered by people who deem power & money to be the ultimate end product of governance; when in fact a government is to inspire & lead the people to a better country. 

Our Country continue to be seduced by those in power with promised money from overseas, projects, & developments. The infrastructure &; economy of a country is the primary objective of a modern Country; but no amount of money can cure the destruction of morality &; integrity amongst the people. 

Dear friends, we MUST take Our Country back from the immorals &; the corrupters.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

BC : Fund raising for Japanese Tsunami victims?

Dear readers,

Will have the letters "BC" on title of postings which relates to the Bar Council from now onwards.

As BC continue to sort out the KPI Resolution and also the fiasco of e-filing at Courts, a proposal to set up a fund-raising campaign for the victims of the Japanese tsunami, was put forward to BC. BC will meet this Tuesday at 3pm. This issue may be discussed at that emergency meeting.

The emergency meeting is called as BC try to finalise the push to dismantle some aspects of the KPI system at Courts. There have been some positive breakthrough with the CJ & gang. By Monday (21/3/2011) BC may issue a press release on this. 

The e-filing issue is also being sorted out. Unfortunately many BC members dont have sufficient information about the e-filing to propose changes or amendments. However a common theme amongst the BC members is to propose a temporary halt of the e-filing system until such time the Courts get their house in order for that.



Wednesday, 16 March 2011

To Protect & To Defend

Took Office at Bar Council on Saturday. It was a new experience. After 6 years at KL Bar, the 1st meeting at Bar Council was a little different. 

We wont know which Committee we will lead, though I have indicated that I am keen to help out the National Young Lawyers Committee. 

It is my hope to deal with the Policy issues troubling the Bar; and help to defend & protect the Bar. Some issues which need addressing now, is the KPI at Courts and now the nonsensical e-filing, also at Courts. At the BC, I hope to instigate change in the mindset of the BC members; particularly the Office Bearers to focus more of the needs of the members.

However, the interest of the people must also continue. I am not at all suggesting to stop concentrating on important public related Committees like Legal Aid, MyConsti & Human Rights. But the BC, particularly must look inwards to the Bar before dealing with public issues. The perception (rightly or wrongly) of the members is that BC is weak (particularly in KPI issues). 

Of course BC have carried out many successful projects like the Yayasan for Legal Aid, the MyConsti campaign etc. But we can do more especially to protect the profession.

Anyway, no use writing and talking of this stuff if one cant do the work. I hope to carry out whatever work I can instead of just talking & promising. 

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Regulate Will Writing Enterprise in Malaysia

This is a proposed motion to be tabled at the 65th Malaysian Bar AGM on 12th March 2011.

roposed Motion calling upon the Government of Malaysia to regulate the Will Writing Enterprises in Malaysia.  

Recognising the fact that writing a Will is a crucial and significant, financial and personal decision that someone may make;

Recognising the need to protect consumers keen in engaging Will Writers in Malaysia;

Recognising the current practise where Will Writers may not be necessarily legally trained.

The Motion:-
The Malaysian Bar calls upon the Government of Malaysia to effectively regulate the Will Writing Industry in Malaysia.

The Malaysian Bar calls upon the Government of Malaysia to impose a rule that a Will Writer ought to have Legal Qualification, as a minimal standard;

Alternatively the Malaysian Bar suggests that the Government of Malaysia conduct Trainings and Courses leading to a Diploma or Certificate in Will Writing, which may be held at our Institutions of Higher Learning; to train the current and future Will Writers.

                 Dated : 3rd March 2011