Call Speech for Richard Haw @ Haw Chin Joo

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Call Speech for Richard Haw @ Haw Chin Joo

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My Lord,

Not all of us are blessed with a destiny for our future employment. Not all of us hear the calling of law in our cradles. And from my experience, many come to the law not because it was for them but because they didn’t know what to do. They come to the law because it gives them a broad array of legal as well as non-legal options about what to do with themselves.

That is how the Petitioner found himself at the footstep of this great house known as the Law. However, it was his brother, a fellow lawyer, who persuaded the Petitioner to enter. Despite his initial ambivalence, the Petitioner in his youth had unwittingly laid the foundation to thrive in the field of law.

He was active in the Scouts Movement and was Group Leader in Sekolah Menengah Sri Muar in 1992. Lawyers just like scouts always have to be prepared unless you have a hearing in Shah Alam (But unlike scouts we can occasionally get away with written submissions and the occasional adjournment application). The Petitioner was also active in organizing camping trips and this is also useful for a lawyer as well. As a lawyer one often has to camp in corridors, in courts and even in police stations.

The Petitioner is also well-rounded in lifestyle and interests. He was active in volleyball and ping-pong. He was on the committees for the Music and Drama Club and the Computer Club. And if any further indication of his suitability for the law during his early years manifested itself – his position as a school librarian and prefect should prove sufficient. The Petitioner from his youth demonstrated an attitude of preparedness, responsibility and a love of books.

So to me, it is no surprise the Petitioner eventually came to his epiphany with the law. This is what it sounds like in his own words:

‘My interest in the law manifested when I was halfway through the course. I liked Administrative Law, Company Law, Contract Law, Land Law, Banking Law and others. I like those subjects for no reason; I just like to study those subjects and want to know more about those subjects.

That is the calling of law: to find the law fascinating to the point of compulsion, for no other reason than the pleasure it brings by being engaged with it. So enraptured was the Petitioner with his studies that he even confessed to enjoying those dark areas of the law like Jurisprudence.

When I asked the Petitioner why he chose this profession instead of some other area, this was his reply:

“Law makes a person who studies it become a better man. It trains a person to think and act wisely and rationally. By studying the law, we know what can be done, and what is proper… In my opinion, the law is a ‘never-ending story. We will find something new to learn, to understand, to consider.”

This is the advantage the Petitioner has over those others who found their way to our profession and still don’t know why they are here. He is interested and sees the practice of law as morally constructive instead of regressive. We need more of such attitudes at the Bar and Bench to inspire us, to maintain us, to guard us.

After the Petitioner completed his Bachelor of Jurisprudence from the University of Malaya he proceeded to the dreaded CLP which he completed in 2008. Thereafter he had the privilege, though I am less certain of the pleasure, of doing his pupilage under the guidance of Mr Andrew Teh of Messrs. Wong Lu Peen & Tunku Alina. His Master confirms his enthusiasm and commitment to his work during his pupillage and backed it up with an offer of employment that I understand he has taken up. I would like to congratulate the Petitioner for being retained.

With that, I humbly submit that the Petitioner is of good character and attitude and a fit and proper person to be admitted to the Bar. I believe the Petitioner’s papers are in order and humbly pray Richard Haw @ Haw Chin Joo be admitted to the Bar as an advocate and solicitor to the Rolls.

Admitted on 9.10.2009

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