On 17 February 2023, AmerBON’s Pupil-in-Chambers, Ms Nur Izni Syazwani binti Ahmad, was called to the Bar at the Kuala Lumpur High Court before YA Amarjeet Singh a/l Serjit Singh. We thank Ms Khaizan Sharizad binti Ab Razak, for moving Izni’s call.
Khaizan Sharizad’s speech is reproduced below:
Dengan izin Yang Arif,
Saya Khaizan Sharizad binti Ab Razak, hadir bagi pihak Pempetisyen. Rakan-rakan bijaksana saya yang mewakili Peguam Negara Malaysia, Majlis Peguam Malaysia, dan Jawatankuasa Peguam Kuala Lumpur yang telah pun diperkenalkan kepada Yang Arif sebelum ini.
Dengan izin Yang Arif, saya dengan rendah diri memohon kebenaran untuk berhujah berkenaan Pempetisyen dalam Bahasa Inggeris.
The Petitioner is Nur Izni Syazwani binti Ahmad. She was born on the 21st of August 1997 to Encik Ahmad Bakar and the late Puan Rosidah Pandak, in a small town in Kedah, Sik.
The Petitioner started her primary education at SJK (C) Kg Lalang, continued her secondary education at SMK Tunku Putera, and did her STPM at SMK Baling. The Petitioner is proud and grateful that her family had engrained in the importance of education without ever dictating how she would receive her education. Therefore, even at the young age of 6, it was the Petitioner herself who decided that she wanted to study at a Chinese primary school, after being inspired by all the TVB dramas she had watched. When the Petitioner was 13 years old, the Petitioner chose to study at SMK Tunku Putera to continue studying the Chinese language, even though there was another high school nearer to home. This meant that the Petitioner had to take the bus to school every day. With her family background, there would be days when her allowance would just be enough for the bus fare, and she would have to go through the school periods without eating. However, the Petitioner believes that those sacrifices were crucial, and they allowed her to pursue her passion and helped shaped her to be one able to face her struggles for valuable and tangible goals.
The Petitioner’s journey to be a lawyer wasn’t anything extraordinary, but the Petitioner believes it was a meaningful journey. Being brought up with the freedom to be and to live freely, the only thing constant with the Petitioner’s ambitions is that — they kept changing. Thus, it revealed that being a lawyer was not the Petitioner’s first dream, but it is the only ambition she chose to pursue until today.
The Petitioner made a conscious choice to be a lawyer when she was 16, after she discovered John Grisham’s novels, and after being misled that she would not have to use mathematics if she is a lawyer. Contrary to the perceptions of some, it was not the glamour of being a lawyer that drew her in, instead, it was the dedication and commitment that the fictional lawyers put into handling each brief that caught her attention. It was the sense of doing something so diligently with a clear purpose of assisting another human being.
In fact, the Petitioner became more interested in being a lawyer after reading The Street Lawyer, where she learnt about pro bono work done by lawyers to assist people who couldn’t afford legal assistance. She wants to be that kind of lawyer, who works hard to ensure they are prepared for their cases and is accountable to each client, even if it means that they have to sacrifice their sleeping time or do something else that is unrelated to work. Most importantly, the Petitioner wants to be a lawyer to help solve people’s problems using her skills. The Petitioner would like to quote her favourite quote from Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom where he says that “Every man has twin obligations. The first one is to his family – parents, wife, and children. And the second obligation is to his people – his community and his country. Everyone fulfils his duties as per his inclination and interest.” For the Petitioner, being a competent lawyer is her way of fulfilling her twin obligations, especially to her community.
So, after STPM, the Petitioner then enrolled in the Faculty of Law at Universiti Malaya, where she graduated with a Second Class Upper in 2021. She was not the brightest, but she enjoyed the study of law. In fact, the Petitioner realised that even though she did not have any legal experience or background, she could still excel in her legal studies if she put enough work into it. Most importantly, the Petitioner realised how studying laws shaped her thoughts and opinions – where the study of law is essentially a study of how to think. Additionally, after discovering the satisfaction of mooting, she decided that being a lawyer is really all she wanted in life. When the Petitioner joined mooting activities, she found joy in being prepared for each submission, in submitting her case with confidence, not wavering to the judges’ unexpected or expected difficult questions and convincing the bench why they should decide in her clients’ favour.
On graduation, the Petitioner decided to start her journey in the litigation world. The Petitioner then commenced her pupillage in AmerBON, Advocates under the tutelage of my learned friend, Joshua Tay H’ng Foong. The Petitioner shared the same struggles faced by other pupils, and she is thankful to be able to get up and not lose the passion to continue this journey after each difficulty. Her journey at AmerBON has taught her many things, and she believes those are essential lessons to shape her as a young lawyer, especially the practical skills, procedures, and strategies that were not taught in law school. The Petitioner learnt the balance of acting for the client’s interest and making sure that it does not override her duty to the court or letting it become the reason to burn bridges with other members of the Bar.
The Petitioner is most appreciative of the trust given by the seniors in AmerBON without which she would not have the space to learn and improve very quickly. The Petitioner’s best friend, Jacqueline Hannah Albert, told her that the way the firm worked was by throwing you into the ocean and asking you to swim back to the shore — if you could not swim, then it’s the best time to figure out how to do so because it is the only way to survive. Throughout her pupillage, the Petitioner was expected to be independent, and to act and think like a lawyer. This meant taking accountability for the files that she was assisting with, knowing the clients and the files inside out, and sometimes being expected to make decisions. The Petitioner was asked to handle clients directly, which allowed her to learn crucial skills to manage one’s client effectively.
Though the Petitioner has much more to learn, the Petitioner is convinced that the exposure during her pupillage has prepared her and enabled her to competently handle small briefs on her own now, of course, with no guarantee of winning or losing. The Petitioner also learnt that one might not be blessed with the eye for detail, but with the proper training and willingness, one can be trained to have such eyes, despite how slow the process is.
On this special day, the Petitioner has many people to thank for how far she has come. She would like to thank her family and her close friends, school teachers, and law school lecturers, the heads of chambers of AmerBON her pupil master, her colleagues and every member of AmerBON, Advocates. She would like to thank each of them for being part of her journey and witnessing her growth.
I believe that the Petitioner is of good character and is a fit and proper person to be admitted and enrolled as an Advocate and Solicitor of this Honourable Court and that her papers are in order. I believe too that my learned friends do not have any objections to this Petition. I, therefore, pray that the Petitioner, Nur Izni Syazwani binti Ahmad be duly admitted and registered as an Advocate and Solicitor of the High Court of Malaya.