Wednesday, January 27, 2021

MAJLIS PENYERAHAN WATIKAH PERLANTIKAN PROFESOR ADJUNG FAKULTI UNDANG-UNDANG UNIVERSITI KEBANGSAAN MALAYSIA 20 JANUARY 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAJLIS PENYERAHAN WATIKAH PERLANTIKAN

PROFESOR ADJUNG

FAKULTI UNDANG-UNDANG

UNIVERSITI KEBANGSAAN MALAYSA

ACCEPTANCE SPEECH 20 JANUARY 2021/WEDNESDAY

 2.30PM VIA WEBINAR ZOOM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ASSALAMUALAIKUM WBT

 

·        YBHG. TAN SRI DATO’ SERI ABDUL WAHID OMAR, 

PENGERUSI LEMBAGA PENGARAH UKM. 

·        YBHG. PROF. DR. NAZURA ABDUL MANAP, 

DEKAN FAKULTI UNDANG-UNDANG, UKM.

·        TIMBALAN-TIMBALAN DEKAN,

FAKULTI UNDANG-UNDANG, UKM. 

·        AHLI-AHLI PENGURUSAN FAKULTI UNDANG-UNDANG, UKM.

·        KAKITANGAN AKADEMIK FAKULTI UNDANG-UNDANG. 

·        KAKITANGAN PROFESIONAL & PELAKSANA FAKULTI UNDANG-UNDANG. 

I AM VERY HONOURED TO BE WITH YOU THIS AFTERNOON FOR THE ACCEPTANCE AND FORMALISATION OF MY APPOINTMENT AS AN ADJUNCT PROFESSOR AT THE FACULTY OF LAW OF UNIVERSITY KEBANGSAAN MALAYSIA. THANK YOU, TS FOR YOUR KIND PRESENCE.

THIS APPOINTMENT BEGAN WITH A CONVERSATION MY DAUGHTER THURAYA HAD WITH DR HANIM, WHO IS HER CONTEMPORARY. I WAS ASKED IF I WOULD BE INTERESTED TO SHARE MY IDEAS AND EXPERIENCES AND GIVE A LECTURE TO THE FINAL YEAR LAW STUDENTSI WAS HESITANT INITIALLY BUT AFTER THEIR PERSUASION, I AGREED. I MET DR. NAZURA AND HANIM TOGETHER AT MY HOME. IT WAS DURING OUR DISCUSSION THAT THEY BROUGHT UP THE SUBJECT WHETHER I WOULD CONSIDER BEING AN ADJUNCT PROFESSOR OF UKM AT THE FACULTY. MY IMMEDIATE REACTION WAS I DON’T CONSIDER MYSELF QUALIFIED FOR THE ROLE. ULTIMATELY, THEY MANAGED TO CONVINCE ME TO ACCEPT THE APPOINTMENT.

SINCE I WAS YOUNG, I HAVE ALWAYS ENJOYED BEING A TEACHER OF SOME SORT. AFTER ALL, ALLAHYARHAM MY FATHER STARTED LIFE AS A TEACHER IN S’PORE, PENANG AND KOTA BHARU. I BELIEVE HIS TEACHING PASSION HAD RUBBED OFF ON ME IN SOME WAY. 

A LONG TIME AFTER OUR DISCUSSIONS CAME THE ARRIVAL OF COVID19. WE OVERCAME THE DIFFICULTIES BY TAKING ADVANTAGE OF TECHNOLOGY AND I DELIVERED A LECTURE THROUGH WEBINAR. IT LASTED FOR MORE THAN TWO HOURS. I FOUND THE STUDENTS SMART AND CONFIDENT. I AM PLEASED TO LOOK UPON IT AS THE UNIVERSITY HAVING PREPARED THEM WELL TO ENTER THE LEGAL WORLD OR ANY OTHER CAREER. IT WAS LONG AFTER THAT I HEARD AGAIN THAT THE UNIVERSITY HAD AGREED TO APPOINT ME AS AN ADJUNCT PROFESSOR. TODAY IS THE CULMINATION OF MY WAITING AND ANXIETY WHETHER I AM GOING TO BE OR NOT TO BE (SHAKESPEAR’S HAMLET). A SEATTLE PHILOSOPHER SAID, “KNOWLEDGE SPEAKS, BUT WISDOM LISTENS”. WHILST SOCRATES SAID, “THE ONLY TRUE WISDOM IS IN KNOWING YOU KNOW NOTHING.” I WOULD LIKE TO IMAGINE I AM IN THAT CATEGORY.

AT THIS STAGE LET ME EXPRESS MY GRATITUDE TO DR. HANIM AND HER DEAN PROF DR. NAZURA WHO SAW MY RELEVANCE AND PASSION TO SHARE WITH OTHERS MY IDEAS AND EXPERIENCES IN THIS INCREASINGLY COMPLEX AND ANXIOUS WORLD AND TIMES. THANK YOU, MA’AM. AFTER ALL, UNIVERSITIES ARE KNOWN TO BE CHANGE CATALYSTS ALL OVER THE WORLD. AS MENTIONED BY ANTON CHEKHOV, “KNOWLEDGE IS OF NO VALUE UNLESS YOU PUT IT INTO PRACTICE”. I WILL IN THIS CAPACITY ATTEMPT TO DO THAT AND QUOTING JOHN LOCKE, “NO MAN’S KNOWLEDGE CAN GO BEYOND HIS EXPERIENCE” OR TO QUOTE SAYYIDINA ALI, “KNOWLEDGE IS LIFE AND A CURE”.

UKM’S MISSION IS TO EDUCATE AND PRODUCE INDIVIDUALS WHO WILL SOLVE PROBLEMS AND CHANGE THE NATION/COUNTRY THROUGH ENGAGED AND VISIONARY LEADERSHIP. OBVIOUSLY, THE WORLD IS STILL IN NEED OF CLEAR HEADED CITIZENS, TEMPERED WITH HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE, DISCIPLINED BY RATIONAL THINKING AND MORAL COMPASSES, WHO SPEAK WELL AND WRITE PLAINLY WITH LUCIDITY AND WARMED BY THE PRINCIPLES OF LAW AND JUSTICE (LEE PELTON).

WE MUST ALWAYS FEAR WHAT THE GREAT ULAMA TABI’IN HASAN AL-BASRI SAID THAT ARROGANCE, ENVY AND GREED CAN BE THE CAUSE OF OUR DOWNFALL. (SATAN, CAIN AND ADAM). 

I WOULD LIKE TO SAY WITH ALL HUMILITY THAT THE APPOINTMENT IS THE GREATEST HONOUR BESTOWED UPON ME IN THE MANY DECADES OF MY PUBLIC SERVICE, AND COMES CLOSEST TO MY HEART. I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH THE ACADEMIC CIRCLE AND A REPUTABLE UNIVERSITY.  I WILL ATTEMPT TO DO WHAT NAPOLEON HILL SAID, “KNOWLEDGE HAS NO VALUE EXCEPT THAT WHICH CAN BE GAINED FROM ITS APPLICATION TOWARDS SOME WORTHY END”. THE FUNDAMENTALS OF KNOWLEDGE, LAW AND JUSTICE AS STATED IN SOME SUFI TRADITIONS THAT KNOWLEDGE IS THE BEACON AND LIGHT FOR HUMANKIND TO FIND THE PATH OF VIRTUE AND RIGHTEOUSNESS, WHILE LAW IS THE REGULATORY INSTRUMENT TO LIVE AS AN INDIVIDUAL, MEMBER OF SOCIETY AND NATION AND JUSTICE IS THE WAY TO PROTECT THE INNOCENT. 

 

THANK YOU, DR. NAZURA AND THE FACULTY, AND UKM FOR MAKING ME FEEL APPRECIATED ESPECIALLY IN MY OWN BELOVED COUNTRY. 

THROUGH THIS MIX OF CHALLENGES AND EXCITEMENT, I WOULD JUST LIKE TO MENTION SOME PERTINENT POINTS: 

FOR ME, IT IS IMPORTANT FOR ME TO BE TRUE TO MYSELF AND DEFINE MY OWN FINAL DESTINY. LOOKING BACK, I JOINED THE JUDICIAL AND LEGAL SERVICE THROUGH THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF NONE OTHER THAN ALLAHYARHAM TUN SALLEH ABBAS, AN EPITOME OF A MAN OF INTEGRITY, HONESTY AND COURAGE. THE LEGACY THAT ALL OF US SHOULD EMULATE. I REMEMBER WHAT HE TOLD ME, THEN A YOUNG MAN OF 26, “WHATEVER YOU DO, YOU MUST PERSEVERE AND START FROM THE BOTTOM”. MY INITIAL PREFERENCE WAS TO BE A DPP BUT FATE SAW ME SERVING ON THE BENCH AS A MAGISTRATE AND AS PRESIDENT OF THE SESSIONS COURT KL, BEFORE I JOINED BBMB AS A LEGAL MANAGER IN 1972.  ANOTHER EXPERIENCE THAT I STILL REMEMBER TO THIS DAY, WHILST SERVING ON THE BENCH, WAS WHAT H.T. ONG, THE CHIEF JUSTICE AT THE TIME, WROTE TO ME WHEN A SENIOR LAWYER COMPLAINED ABOUT MY CONDUCT OF THE PROCEEDING. HE SAID MY DECISION IN THAT CASE WAS CORRECT AND THAT I SHOULD CONTINUE EXERCISING JUSTICE WITHOUT FEAR OR FAVOUR. IT WAS A PRICELESS LEARNING CURVE AND EXPERIENCE FOR ME.   

THROUGHOUT MY LIFE, I TRIED TO NEVER REGRET THE PATHS I HAD TAKEN IN THE NAME OF HUMANITY AND SERVICE, FROM A STUDENT LEADER UP TO THE NATIONAL LEVEL, AS A JUDICIAL OFFICER, PRACTICISING LAWYER, BANKER, AND IN MY YEARS OF SERVICE IN THE GOVERNMENT AS A PUBLIC SERVANT AND NOW, A PENSIONER ON REFLECTION. 

IT CANNOT BE AVOIDED IN LIFE THERE WILL BE SUCCESSES AND FAILURES, UPS AND DOWNS. I WENT THROUGH THESE WITH REFLECTION AND SATISFACTION OF HAVING EXPERIENCED THEM ALL. I THINK IT IS A GOOD REMINDER THAT FAILURE IS PART OF LIFE. HOWEVER, IT SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN AS A CONDEMNATION IN LIFE. IF YOU WORK HARD ENOUGH, YOU CAN CONVERT FAILURE INTO SUCCESS. MY FRIENDS, NEVER GIVE UP. 

IT IS WORTHWHILE TO BE REMINDED THE OFTEN QUOTED DICTUM OF BILL GATES & WARREN BUFFETT ABOUT BEING FOCUSED – IN ORDER TO BE SUCCESSFUL, ONE MUST BE FOCUSED. FOR US IN THE LEGAL FRATERNITY, TO BE FOCUSED IS ONE OF THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL WAYS TO GIVE ATTENTION TO WHAT IS RELEVANT AND CORE IN GIVING ADVISE AND IN PROCEEDINGS OF CASES. OBVIOUSLY, TO SUCCEED WE NEED TO HAVE KNOWLEDGE AND A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING OF THE ISSUES IN THE RELEVANT AND CORRECT CONTEXT.

 

THE APPOINTMENT IS REALLY A TRUE REWARD FOR ME, AS IT WILL ENABLE ME TO OBSERVE FROM A DISTANCE STUDENTS LEARNING, DEVELOPING, AND APPLYING THEIR SKILLS.

I WILL STRIVE TO SERVE TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY FOR THE LAW FACULTY AND UKM. INTERESTINGLY, NICOLAUS COPERNICUS, A RENAISSANCE GREEK SCHOLAR SAID: 

“TO KNOW THAT WE KNOW WHAT WE KNOW, AND TO KNOW THAT WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT WE DO NOT KNOW, THAT IS TRUE KNOWLEDGE”. 

IN CONCLUSION, LET ME END BY TAKING A QUOTE FROM ERNEST AGYEMANG YEBOAH:

“THE VALUE OF INTELLECTUALS IS NEITHER THEIR INTELLECT NOR THE VALUE OF THEIR INTELLECT BUT THE VALUE OF WHAT THEY USE THEIR INTELLECT TO DO”. GUIDE ME TO DO THIS AND MAY ALLAH BLESS US WITH KNOWLEDGE, WISDOM AND JUSTICE”.

THANK YOU.

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