Contributed by Navit Kaur, daughter of Asbir Kaur Sangha
Asbir was born in Miri, Sarawak to Kartar Singh and Chand Kaur and was their seventh–born of their 10 children. She had her primary and secondary education in Miri, Sarawak and was the head girl of St Columba School Miri in her Fifth Form, and thereafter completed her Sixth Form in the Tanjong Lobang School Miri. She then left for London to read law where she also met and fell in love with her future husband, Hira Singh.
Asbir qualified from Lincoln’s Inn, London in 1973. She was admitted to the Sarawak Bar in May 1974 and worked with Sarawak Electricity Supply Company (“SESCO”) in Kuching Sarawak, East Malaysia before moving to Ipoh, Perak in early 1975 when she got married. She was admitted as an Advocate and Solicitor at the High Court of Malaya on 20 Oct 1975, and has been in active legal practice since till her sudden demise on 8 Apr 2015.
She founded Asbir & Co in 1980, and in 1982 the name of the firm was changed to Asbir, Hira Singh & Co. Asbir’s primary areas of practice were in land law, corporate law and commercial law, and she had a vast experience in matters involving disputes over land. She had a passion for land law, and was of the view that the National Land Code 1965 was one of the most well–thought–out and comprehensive pieces of legislation drafted.
She was an active Member of the Perak Bar and served as a Member of the Perak Bar Committee from 1993 to 1995, and from 2000 to 2001. Asbir was the elected Perak Bar Representative to the Bar Council for the years 2008 to 2010. She also previously served as the Chairperson of the Bar Council Court Liaison Committee. Asbir was also an Honorary Legal Adviser for the Perak Family Planning Association, and a former Secretary to the Rotary Club of Greentown, Ipoh.
Asbir received accreditation by Bar Council Malaysia as a Member of Panel of Mediator of the Malaysian Mediation Centre in the year 2006.
Asbir was also a member of the Rules Committee, which was tasked in the redrafting of the Rules of the High Court and Subordinate Courts to what is currently the Rules of Court 2012.
Asbir leaves behind three children, a son–in–law and three grandchildren who were her pride and joy, a brother, sisters, nephews and nieces, grandnephews and grandnieces.