Sunday, November 27, 2022

Anwar can be our Nelson Mandela if… — Roger Tan

The Malay Mail
by Roger Tan

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim began his official duties as Prime Minister by clocking in at his office at the Perdana Putra in Putrajaya November 25, 2022. — Bernama pic

NOVEMBER 27 — When the late Nelson Mandela was released after being imprisoned for 27 years for standing up against South Africa’s apartheid laws, many had expected him to seek revenge on his white captors. He did not. Instead, he forgave them. But many African National Congress (ANC) activists had also suffered under the apartheid regime. So, Mandela led the way because if he could forgive, there was no reason for his ANC acolytes and activists to ask for vengeance. By his act of forgiveness, this had brought healing and reconciliation to his nation.

In the words of Mandela, “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I would still be in prison.” He added, “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. They must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

When he became the first black president of South Africa, he even allowed some of his erstwhile opponents to join his government. At his inauguration, he even invited one of his white prison guards. Hence, Mandela was not just a leader but a true statesman. In his wise words: “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”

For this reason, Malaysians are grateful to Their Majesties the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and the Malay Rulers for ending the five-day political stalemate by getting Pakatan Harapan to form a unity government with the other warring parties.

In the case Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, he is perhaps the most persecuted politician in Malaysia.

Sunday, September 4, 2022

The role of lawyers in court

The Sunday Star

THE Aug 27 press statement of the Universiti Malaya Law Society on recent court cases caught my attention because it came from students at the best law school in this country whose alumni include the current Prime Minister, Chief Justice and Attorney General. 

They wrote, “As future rule of law bearers perusing the recent incidents, we believe that much is expected from legal luminaries to set a model of respect, courtesy and dignity. However, what is occurring thus far has been the downfall of such expectations even in the soil’s highest avenue of justice – the Federal Court.” 

It would be a tragedy if these prospective lawyers should feel disillusioned by the alleged conduct of some senior lawyers even before they join the legal profession. As a senior member of the Malaysian Bar, it behoves me to assure these future entrants to the profession that what they have learnt at law school relating to ethics, virtues, values and ideals of the legal profession still apply and will not be easily tossed away. There are still many senior lawyers out there who practise law with the highest standards of professional integrity and honesty, and who possess unblemished character and reputation. 

Dedicated: (From left, anti-clockwise) Lawyers Jaspal Singh, Lee Guan Tong, HR Dipendra, Kevin Wong and Janet Chai with others at the recent extraordinary general meeting of the Malaysian Bar. — Photo provided

These students should also be assured that there is an independent judicial system in this country worth associating with and defending for. Together with an independent Bar, we are in the vanguard of preserving, protecting and defending the Constitution and upholding the rule of law. Otherwise, it is meaningless if at almost every National Day parade, our leaders and citizens raise hands, pledging aloud to uphold the five fundamental principles of Rukunegara which include the supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of law.