May it please your Lordship,
The Petitioner, Thiviya Sasidharan is the eldest of three daughters of Madam Savitri Kannan and the late Mr Sasidharan. Her mother is present this morning.
My Lord, these days, the pupils whose calls I move have accomplished so many things at such a young age that I am grateful I am not called alongside them. Their resumes usually require at least two pages to list their work experience, awards and versatility. They would have held many responsible positions, interned at a variety of places, helped the less fortunate, and been on some noble crusade such as saving the dolphins, before or during pupillage.
My Lord, when I first started you could not tell my resume from my calling card.
The Petitioner, unlike me, has accomplished and experienced much. Of course, she scored 9As for her SPM whilst at SMK Convent Butterworth; was a JPA Scholar Recipient in 2014 to study at the Perak Matriculation College where she scored a CGPA score of 4.0 and was awarded the Anugerah Ketrampilan Terpuji Kolej Matrikulasi Perlis in 2014; then completed her Bachelor of Laws from University Malaya with an upper second.
She was active at University. She helped others and developed by taking up demanding and responsible activities. She raised funds as Head of the Publicity Bureau in 2016. In the same year, she won the Champion of CEO Challenge whilst attending the Axiata Young Leadership Development Programme. As a result, she had the opportunity to be a marketing communications team intern with Smart Axiata Company Ltd (Cambodia) in 2017 as part of the MyAsean Internship Programme organized by Talentcorp Malaysia.
There she acquired experience and knowledge about marketing and cross-border communication. She was the Head of the Event Management Team for organizing the TEDx talk at the University of Malaya in 2018. TEDx is an offshoot of Ted Talk – a popular and influential forum for people to share ideas – which carries a certain degree of prestige to be on. She was a Kalsom ambassador from 2017 to 2018 where she advocated and organized motivational camps and workshops for underprivileged children. The Kalsom Movement is an independent and voluntary student-led charity movement registered in Malaysia, which focuses on education inequality in Malaysia.
The Petitioner, therefore, demonstrated a certain degree of precociousness when it came to doing good for others, behaving selflessly and looking for experiences that would develop and improve her. It is also present in her sense of self-awareness, which I contend brought her to the footsteps of law.
“I decided to study law because the profession is one that seemed to be in connection or aligned with my capabilities, talent, and character. I say this because of the small things that people around me picked up along the way about how I carry myself, my conduct and my thought process…. I too, agree with the people around me. The naivety began at the age of 14.”
We can see how sensitive, rational and circumspect the Petitioner is in her assessment of herself, especially when I compare her to myself. At 14, I aspired to be RoboCop or hunt aliens in steamy tropical jungles, and had a vague sense my father was a lawyer, but what was a lawyer?
I was acquainted with the Petitioner when she did a 2-month internship with our firm in June and July 2018. The Petitioner was the quintessential ideal intern – diligent, motivated, intelligent and thoughtful.
When I recall the Petitioner’s time with us, I remember wishing she would take her time with the assignments I gave her because she would get things done well quickly. Too quickly. Give her something and hope she takes a week but boom! there it is on my table a day later. She certainly tested the supply of work in the firm and thankfully left before running out of things to do. The Petitioner then did an internship with Leadernomics and after that did her pupilage at Messrs Alvin John & Partners under Mr Rubachandran.
There are three features of the Petitioner that stand out for me and make her suitable for the profession of law.
Firstly, her resilience, the ability to manage or recover from difficult situations. This is a necessary quality for the practice of law. The Petitioner knows there are no shortcuts in life. When she is advised that practice only gets tougher, her response is When the going gets tough, the tough get going. The Petitioner in that respect takes after her mother whom she cites as her constant role model in life. “She is the epitome of perseverance. The strongest woman I know who had fought many battles over the years in raising three daughters single-handedly.” This is the kind of lawyer you want in your corner. I am pleased to assure the Petitioner that as a professional disputer, she will be remunerated for her battles, fought single-handedly or otherwise.
Secondly, her sense of justice and her passion for wanting the public to find protection in the law. The Petitioner says the duty of a lawyer in society is to facilitate and ease the pursuit of justice. “I always felt that it is important to break down or deconstruct the law for the layman’s understanding. … The notion that everyone is equal before the law and that each individual is entitled to legal representation reminds me of why the profession is a crucial one.“
Finally, her ability to make the best out of things. The Petitioner has that excellent ability to find value in whatever she does or whatever situation she is in. She is comfortable living out of her comfort zone. Despite being an introvert she developed her people skills at the Legal Aid Clinic. “Being on duty required us the pupils to meet various people from all walks of life. It has constantly taught me to be non-judgmental and to avoid having any pre-formed biases towards our walk-in clients.”
She was nervous about appearing in court. So she joined the dock brief program to overcome her court anxiety. Even amidst the chaos of a situation, the Petitioner is the sort that will calmly reflect on it later to find lessons to be learned. She told me of an occasion when she found her case in a state of chaos and uncertainty. She said she learned an important thing that day: Don’t Panic.
For those reasons, I submit the Petitioner is a person of good character and so a fit and proper person to be called to the Bar.
The Petitioner would like to thank her mother Madam Savitri Kannan for her love, strength and example, her sisters Darshviny and Anisha for their companionship, her master Mr Rubachandran and everyone at Messrs Alvin John & Partners that have supported, taught and laughed with her at the firm, and her friends.
I believe the Petitioner’s cause papers are in order and my learned friends have no objections to the Petition.
I pray that the Petitioner be admitted and enrolled as an advocate and solicitor in the High Court of Malaya.
Called on 28.2.2020