May it please your Lordship,
My Lord is no doubt aware, being a practitioner of repute before, that lawyers in general have a poor reputation. We are called all sorts of nasty names and often stand accused of doing all sorts of nasty things – even though we only do what the client instructs. We are the easy sacrificial scapegoats for the misdeed of others.
So it is refreshing to learn that the Petitioner chose this profession – over that of the army and an engineer – because of what he perceived as the high level of respect paid to lawyers, not that it will ever translate into fees. He will learn in time that he will not forsake those professions entirely since there will be much soldiering done in the name of justice, and there will also be much engineering required particularly for those hopeless cases the Petitioner will no doubt confront in due course.
He cites the lawyer novels of John Grisham, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and the TV legal series ‘the Practice’ as influences that tipped him towards the law. But despite such fine adversarial influences, the Petitioner says that he sees the role of lawyers as ‘a joint which connects society from their problems to their solutions’. I particularly enjoyed it when he said that lawyers ‘would create solutions out of nowhere like opening a road in the middle of the desert.’ Although his metaphor captures the spirit, it could do with some work. Lawyers can certainly pull off magic, but they don’t do miracles.
My Lord, I do not propose to dwell on the Petitioner’s educational history. Proof of it is replete in the cause papers filed. I should however mention some of his accomplishments not found in it.
The Petitioner is one of those all-rounder students. He has been scoring A’s as far as he can remember. He does not know that B, C, D and F are but letters of the alphabet, not grades one is awarded for exams. He excels at sports. He played tennis for the State of Negeri Sembilan in High School and was the district champion. He has won numerous medals in University Futsal Tournaments during his time at the University of Malaya. He often represented the university in International Mooting Competitions overseas, and International Model United Nation Conferences overseas and found time to successfully organize numerous student law conferences. He is fluent in English, Malay, Mandarin and drives the women wild when he speaks German. My Lord, he is a cunning linguist.
The Petitioner, therefore, has the right attitude and intellectual accomplishments. From my interview with him, I am pleased to submit he also has the requisite good character for admission to the Bar. He understands that to excel at his work, there is much solitude, sacrifice and instant noodles to contend with. He knows there are times when he may lose morale and belief, but he alone is responsible for overcoming them and keeping himself motivated. In short, he has tenacity and resilience.
Being a sportsman, he looks upon the legal profession as a gentlemanly sport to be carried out with etiquette, mutual respect and honour. Furthermore, he tells me that ‘the excitement of having new challenges arising form the unique set of facts makes me like practice.’
His Master, Ms. Kuek Pei Yee of Messrs. Skrine, confirms this. She describes him as ‘very responsible’, reliable, adaptable and someone who is willing to do what it takes to get the job done. She took particular note of his ‘great memory’ which is a storehouse of all sorts of information although most of it has little to do with the law. However, it has come in handy in a few situations that helped the firm. Needless to say, he will be continuing as an associate in the Intellectual Property litigation unit after this. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate him on his retention.
I believe my submissions show the Petitioner to be of good character and so a fit and proper person to be called to the Bar.
In closing, the Petitioner would like to express his heartfelt thanks to God (without whom none of us would be here), his father and mother, Pastor Teoh Choong Leong and Madam Chong Moi Jin, his Master, Kuek Pei Yee and Mr. Khoo Guan Huat also of Messrs. Skrine, everybody from the firm and his friends.
My learned friends have no objections and so I humbly pray for the Petitioner to be admitted and enrolled as an advocate and solicitor of the High Court of Malaya.
Called on 27.7.2012.