May it please Your Lordship,
Fahri Azzat for the Petitioner.
The Petitioner, Nureen Elysya binti Sakya, hails from Kuala Lumpur. She is the second daughter of Puan Norlaily Basir and Encik Sakya Hamid. Madam Norlaily is a banker and Encik Sakya is a chef. They will prove useful advisers to the Petitioner. Her father can teach her how to better cook and flavour her legal submission. Her mother can teach her how to make her legal fees work for her while she’s sleeping.
My Lord, my speech has three parts. The first part is about how the Petitioner arrived in Your Lordship’s court today. The second part is about the Petitioner’s qualities that evidence her good character. The final part will be a round of thanks.
Like some of us, before settling on the study of law the Petitioner entertained several careers such as an air hostess, a geologist, a doctor and a chemist. Unfortunately, like many who eventually became lawyers, she got A’s for all her subjects except the sciences when she completed her secondary education at SMK Bukit Nanas.
Even though the Petitioner missed out on those other careers, I want to assure her that she is likely to perform those duties at some point in her legal career. From my own experience, I can vouch that there will be the serving of drinks and food, pretending to be nice to those we serve and uniforms. She will encounter human beings that exhibit rock-like qualities. She will advise on diseased and ill cases. She will learn that chemistry does not apply only to atoms and molecules, but to relationships.
Not knowing what career to commit to, she sought guidance from her parents whom she considers her primary role models. Since the Petitioner was talkative, regularly performed as an emcee and participated in debates, forums and pidato’s, the Petitioner’s parents naturally advised her to take up the study of law.
The Petitioner did her Foundation in Law at UiTM Dengkil. Thereafter she obtained her Bachelor of Laws from UiTM Shah Alam with a second upper. During her undergraduate years, the Petitioner was active in mooting contests in her first three years. Her highlights were winning the best UiTM mooter in the AIAC-ICC Pre-Moot for the Wilhem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, 2017 and coaching the winning mooting team of University Teknologi MARA Interpart Competition, 2018.
The Petitioner completed her pupilage in the chambers of Messrs Haris Ibrahim Kandiah Partnership under the tutelage of the inimitable, raucous Mr Ashok Kandiah.
My Lord, I submit there are three examples that I would like to share that demonstrate the Petitioner’s good character.
The first is when I asked the Petitioner, what qualities make for a good lawyer. She mentioned compassion, communication skills and eloquence; but I liked best the quality she saved for last and wrote most about:
‘I think an honest and truthful lawyer is a good lawyer. Notwithstanding that a lawyer needs to uphold the client’s case and interest, a lawyer must not lie with regard to the evidence given to the court. As a lawyer is an officer to the court who has the duty to assist the court in reaching a fair decision, his/her duty to be honest to the court overrides his duty to the client. As such a good lawyer must not only possess good and strong communication skills but also possess good morals.‘
Truth and honesty are rare commodities in our practice. If this is how young lawyers and the Petitioner think and practice, I look forward to the future.
The second is the Petitioner’s sense of fortitude.
I like how she looks back at her getting through moments of adversity with pride instead of whining and complaining about it. Even her favourite movies reflect that outlook [Skyscraper, 2021, Crawl, The Hush, etc.]. Many have to do with how if we are focused, determined and rational in our approach to things, we can overcome our difficulties. She says, ‘These movies also reflect life at its best, that sometimes we don’t have control over life and we will be disappointed but again it teaches us on how to deal with difficult and unpredictable situations in life.’
The Petitioner also shared with me an incident that she was proud of that evidence of this quality of fortitude:
‘There was this one time when our associate was on leave due to Covid and we have no one to assist Mr Ashok other than me. So, for the first time, I assisted him in a trial that was conducted physically. It was a tedious file, so I had to study the file overnight on short notice. With my assistance, I managed to assist Mr Ashok by reminding him about a few points during his examinations. Although the associate was present the next day and offered to assist Mr Ashok insisted he wanted me to assist him as he liked the way I assisted him and managed the documents. Mr Ashok is not very expressive when it comes to compliments, so when I heard about that, I was grateful and proud of myself.’
The third is the Petitioner takes pleasure in learning and exploring different areas of law. When I asked her what were the top three things she enjoyed about pupilage, this was first.
This is how she spoke of her time in Messrs Haris Ibrahim Kandiah Partnership:
‘When I did my pupilage in HIKP, I was fortunate to be exposed to civil, commercial, criminal and family law cases. I enjoyed learning and gaining new knowledge there. Of course, at first, it was tough, but with constant effort and determination, I slowly learned and grasped the law. In addition to that, Mr Ashok is really helpful in helping me find the right book for research purposes.‘
My Lord, I submit these qualities – honesty, fortitude and taking pleasure in learning – are evidence of the Petitioner’s good character, which makes her a fit and proper person to be called to the Bar.
I now come to the concluding part of my speech.
The Petitioner dedicates this call to the Bar today to her parents. Naturally, she thanks them for their unwavering support, unconditional love and care and all the scolding she received. I hope my kids too will one day thank me for that, My Lord.
The next round of thanks goes to her siblings – Nureen Syazleina, Nureen Farissya and Danielle Al-Fayyadh for their constant source of help, support and company.
The Petitioner thanks her grandparents for staying up with her when she was studying late into the night. She wants to thank her fluffy cats who have kept her company and are a source of joy in the house. I trust the Petitioner to send her cats my regards when she regales them about the details of her call tonight.
Singled out for special mention is Encik Arief Aiman, who the Petitioner describes as His loving presence itself is a blessing that keeps me going in life.
Thanks to Farah Afiqah, her best friend for being her go-to person and keeping her sane, albeit at a distance.
Thanks to all her lecturers and friends for their guidance, knowledge and kindness in helping her survive law school.
Finally, a thank you to everyone at Messrs Haris Ibrahim Kandiah Partnership, particularly Mr Ashok Kandiah, Ms Vithya, Alani Farhah, Ashvinder, Celinne, Kak Nita and Puan Ain for their constant support and encouragement.
My Lord, I submit the Petitioner’s cause papers are in order. I believe my learned friends have no objections and even if they do, they are out of time to object.
I pray that the Petitioner is admitted and enrolled as an advocate and solicitor of the High Court of Malaya.
Called on 24.2.2023.