The Sunday Star
PETALING JAYA: It took cartoonist Reggie Lee a day to do a caricature of former Lord President Tun Suffian Hashim.
When it was offered for auction at the inaugural fund-raising dinner for the Tun Suffian Foundation, it fetched a handsome price of RM50,001.
It was a silent auction and the close to 1,000 diners at the Shangri-la Hotel in Kuala Lumpur on Friday night were given slips of paper to place their bids.
The lowest bid was RM2,000 but in the end it was lawyer Datuk Zaid Ibrahim who walked away with the caricature.
The framed original copy is done in black-and-white in the tradition of similar caricatures of British judges. This is believed to be the first time a caricature of a local judge has been drawn, and law firms can still purchase the colour version from the foundation at RM150 per piece.
As for Lee, he is ecstatic.
“When I was asked by Roger Tan, a member of the organising committee, to draw the caricature, I was more than happy to do so for free. This is my way of contributing back to society and to keep the legacy of this great judge alive.
“The foundation will be giving out scholarships and I am glad that good students, irrespective of race and religion, will be able to pursue their studies at Cambridge University, Suffian’s alma mater.”
The foundation, which was incorporated in June 2002, now has close to RM1.1mil following the successful dinner which raised more than RM600,000 to add to the RM500,000 raised at the inception of the foundation.
The Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, who succeeded Suffian as Lord President in 1982, was guest of honour. He gave a donation of RM50,000 at the dinner, to the loud applause of those present, comprising mainly judges and lawyers.
The other RM50,000 donors for the night were Kuok Brothers Sdn Bhd, Resorts World Berhad and Wijaya Baru Global Berhad.
Other than Sultan Azlan Shah and Raja Permaisuri Perak Tuanku Bainun, the other VVIPs who attended the dinner were former Chief Justice Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah; former Lord President Tun Mohamed Salleh Abas; former Inspector-General of Police Tun Hanif Omar; Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Siti Norma Yaakob; Chief Judge of Borneo Tan Sri Steve Shim Lip Kiong; Lord Millett, a retired House of Lords judge; and Datin Seri Elizabeth Chan, wife of Datuk Seri Chan Sek Keong, the Chief Justice of Singapore.
The dinner guests were treated to a magnificent performance by the Malaysian violinist extraordinaire, Joanne Yeoh, and the group of lawyers-cum-actors, the Reluctant Performers, who did not charge any fee for their appearances.