Dengan izin Yang Arif,
Saya, Amer Hamzah Arshad, mewakili pihak Pempetisyen, Syahrul Syazwan Bin Salehin yang hadir pada pagi ini.
Rakan-rakan bijaksana saya daripada Peguam Negara, Majlis Peguam, dan KL Bar pun telah diperkenalkan.
Yang Arif, saya dengan rendah diri memohon kebenaran untuk berhujah dalam bahasa Inggeris.
If it so pleases Your Lordship, may I introduce the Petitioner, Syahrul Syazwan Bin Salehin.
The Petitioner was born on 12 March 1985 in Segamat. He is the third child of 10 siblings.
The Petitioner received his primary education at Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan Jementah. Upon obtaining straight A’s for his UPSR, he continued his secondary education at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Jementah. The Petitioner excelled in his studies as he obtained good results for his PMR and SPM examinations.
Upon completing his secondary education, the Petitioner received an offer from UiTM to pursue his study in law. He completed his Bachelor’s in Legal Studies in 2007 and thereafter continued to do his LLB and graduated in 2008.
The Petitioner said he never intended to study law in the beginning. He was initially interested in studying architecture. However, a tragedy in 2000 that caused the death of the Petitioner’s mother changed his outlook towards life. After the incident, he realised that there is more to life than just drawing buildings or skyscrapers. He realised the importance and the need to protect and save lives. Ideally, the Petitioner should have studied medicine and become a doctor. But then again the medical profession has always been overrated. The said incident was the tipping point that made the Petitioner realise that the legal profession is his true calling, his destiny. In his own words, “that unfortunate incident inspired me to find the true meaning of justice.”
Upon completing his legal studies, the Petitioner is fortunate to be offered a place to read and complete his pupillage at Messrs Azzat & Izzat in the chambers of En Fahri Azzat, a good friend of mine is no stranger to controversy via his writings in the notorious website loyarburok.com.
During his pupilage in Azzat & Izzat, the Petitioner said he was given the opportunity to experience various areas of law. He admits that doing his pupillage at Azzat & Izzat, especially under Fahri Azzat is challenging yet exciting and rewarding. The Petitioner said that he had learned a lot during the pupillage period under the guidance of his Pupil Master who has been a great teacher and mentor.
The Petitioner also said that he was fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work with his Pupil Master on some interesting pro-bono public interest cases When asked about those interesting cases, surprisingly he told me that one of them is the case where a few lawyers and I were wrongfully prosecuted for participating in a peaceful procession on a fine Sunday morning along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman heading towards the Bar Council in conjunction with the Human Rights Day celebration in December 2007. According to him, that case motivated him to be further involved in criminal and human rights cases. And I would hasten to add, “rightly so”.
At this juncture, I would like to digress a bit by taking this opportunity to personally thank the Petitioner for being part of the legal defence team which had defended my right to freedom of assembly and speech. If not for the Petitioner’s assistance and role as one of the defenders of the downtrodden in the said team, I would not be appearing here before Your Lordship moving the Petitioner’s call. Indeed, I am indebted to the Petitioner.
Regarding the Petitioner’s Pupil Master, I would like to say a few things about him. Fahri Azzat is not only a good friend who can be relied upon. He is also a good advocate who has a sharp analytical mind. He is a person who is not afraid to express his thoughts whatever the risk. Just like Cicero in his Philippic against Mark Anthony, Fahri Azzat has scant regard for what may befall him when it comes to expressing his thoughts, be it against the politicians, Bar Council, or the Attorney General. Even the Judiciary and the former Chief Justices have not been spared from his vitriolic criticisms.
With the Court’s leave, I would also like to share one memorable incident that I had with Fahri Azzat during our early days at the Bar. So that this Court would have an idea as to what kind of person Fahri Azzat is. It was about 10 years ago or thereabouts when both Fahri and I happened to be in Alor Star for our respective matters. It was over dinner at one of the hotels in Alor Star. Rest assured that nothing improper took place between the two of us at the hotel. We had a chat about practice life and I was lamenting to him about my dilemma. He knew even way back then that I had a strong passion for criminal law and would very much like to practice at the criminal bar.
At that time, my legal firm did not have any criminal matter and I was contemplating moving on to a firm that handles criminal cases. However, Fahri Azzat made me realise, that it matters not where you practice. What is important is what you make of your practice. He gave me a book that has had a big impact on my life as a lawyer. The book is about a fictitious criminal barrister by the name of Horace Rumple, authored by the late John Mortimer QC. Needless to say that the book that changed my life and gave me the boost and encouragement that I so needed back then to get involved in the criminal bar and thereafter as the saying goes… is history.
The point that I’m trying to make here My Lord, is that having known Fahri Azzat personally as a friend and professionally as a lawyer, I have no doubt that the Petitioner would have been exposed to a wealth of legal knowledge and learnt a lot during his pupillage. I am sure that Fahri Azzat would have given the petitioner the same encouragement that he had given me somewhat 10 years ago. The Petitioner is indeed fortunate to have Fahri Azzat as his Pupil Master.
Expression of thanks
The Petitioner would like to express his deepest gratitude to his Pupil Master for his willingness to share his experiences, thoughts, wisdom, and guidance with him.
Apart from his Pupil Master, the Petitioner would also like to thank Datuk Azzat Kamaludin and Mr Izzat Othman for giving him the opportunity to read in chambers in their respective firm; Ms Audrey Quah, Mr Lionel Koe, Mrs Farah Afzal, Mrs Rose Zilawati, and all the staff in Messrs Azzat & Izzat for their help and support during his pupilage period.
The Petitioner would like to thank his friends who have been supporting him especially those who had been with him through thick and thin from the beginning.
Last but not least, the Petitioner would like to express his utmost gratitude to his father, En Salehin bin Ahmad; his step-mother, Pn Siti Hajar binti Mohamed; and most importantly to his late mother, Pn Rohayah Taib. The Petitioner said that without his late mother’s tender loving care, the Petitioner’s achievement would not be possible and thus would like to dedicate his achievement to his beloved mother, Pn Rohayah Taib. My lord, I am sure that if the Petitioner’s mother is still alive and is present in Court today, she will definitely be proud of him.
Based on the training that the Petitioner had undergone throughout the nine months, I have no doubts whatsoever that the Petitioner is indeed a fit and proper person to be admitted and enrolled as an Advocate and Solicitor of the High Court of Malaya. In fact, the Malaysian Bar is fortunate to have a new member such as the Petitioner.
My Lord, before I take my seat, I would like to remind the Petitioner that as a lawyer, one must be courageous and extreme. The fundamental rights that are enshrined in the Federal Constitution will remain nothing more than a mere collection of pious platitudes if lawyers remain passive or indifferent. Lawyers must be ready to be at the forefront to uphold matters that involve fundamental liberties and justice.
To quote Marcus Tullius Cicero (Cicero), the famous Roman philosopher, statesman, amongst others: “Extremism in the defence of liberty is no vice, moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”
Taking the advice from Cicero, I would advise and encourage the Petitioner to be extreme in the defense of fundamental liberties and the pursuit of justice. Do not be afraid to make enemies in your quest to fight for human rights. Prof Alan Dershowitz in his book, Letters to a Young Lawyer, said, “A lawyer with the right enemies is often an advocate who has taken on powerful interests and stood up for the poor, disenfranchised, and the despised.”
So, to the Petitioner, I say, “Go forth and seek thy enemy!”
All the cause papers are complete and in order and I know not of any objection from my learned friends. I sincerely hope that my learned friends representing the relevant parties will support this application. Therefore, My Lord, I respectfully pray that this Honourable Court admits and registers Syahrul Syazwan Bin Salehin as an Advocate and Solicitor of this Honourable Court.
Much obliged, My Lord.
This call speech was prepared for Fahri Azzat’s pupil Syahrul Syazwan bin Salehin’s call to the Bar. Years later, Fahri reproduced this speech on his website From the Bar Stool, archived here, because it corroborated his account of “The Time Amer Found Crime“.