Our distinguished Past President, Yang Mulia Raja Aziz Addruse, passed away peacefully earlier today at the age of 75.
Allahyarham was called to the Malaysian Bar on 8 Jan 1966. From Lincoln’s Inn, Allahyarham was the first President of the Malaysian Bar to serve three terms — 1976–1978, 1988–1989 and 1992–1993. A leading advocate, Allahyarham continued to be active in Bar Council work, and appeared regularly in the Appellate Courts as a senior counsel. He had led and argued many of the difficult and controversial cases for the Malaysian Bar.
Bar Council and the Malaysian Bar convey our deepest condolences and sincere sympathies to his family members on their loss.
In January 1966 he was admitted and enrolled as an Advocate and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of the then–Federation of Malaya, and commenced his practice at the Malaysian Bar. Initially practising as both an advocate and solicitor, he has, since about 1988, practised only as counsel.
He was elected as President of the Malaysian Bar and Chairman of the Bar Council of Malaysia for 1976–1977 and was re–elected to serve a second term for 1977–1978. During those periods he represented the Malaysian Bar at meetings of LAWASIA, the Asean Law Association and other regional law bodies.
In March 1988 he was again elected as President of the Malaysian Bar and Chairman of the Bar Council. In that year the Malaysian Bar came out strongly against the move of the Malaysian Government to remove Tun Salleh Abas, the then–Lord President of the Supreme Court, for what was considered to be political reasons. The events of that year resulted in the dismissal of the Lord President and two senior judges of the Supreme Court, as well as the suspension of three others.
In 1992 he again served as President of the Malaysian Bar and Chairman of the Bar Council. He did not stand for re–election at the end of his terms of office in 1989 and 1993.
He was a member of the Bar Council for the following periods: 1968–1983; 1988–1990; 1992–1994 and 1999–2001.
As the President of the Malaysian Bar in 1988 and in 1992, he led the Bar in times of serious assaults on the rule of law and the independence of the Judiciary. He answered the call to serve, as the Malaysian Bar felt that we needed Ungku to lead and steer the Bar through those difficult times.
Though greatly interested, and acknowledged as an expert, in constitutional law and administrative law, he has been quite varied in the fields of law in which he has practised. Some of the matters he has been engaged in have involved issues of law relating to construction of statutes, general elections, election petitions, contempt of court, land, building contracts, companies (oppression of minority interests), contracts, arbitration, governmental abuse of power, and fundamental rights under the Malaysian Federal Constitution.
He has appeared as lead counsel for, among others, Tun Salleh Abas who, as the Lord President of the Supreme Court in 1988, was alleged to have committed acts of misconduct; Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia who was charged in the High Court with committing four offences of corrupt practice; Dato’ Param Cumaraswamy who, as the Secretary of the Bar Council in 1985, was charged in the High Court with sedition; for Manjeet Singh Dhillon, then–Secretary of the Bar Council, who was cited in the Supreme Court for contempt of that court for statements he had made in the performance of the duties of his office; for the Bar Council in an application (in the High Court and in the subsequent appeal to the Supreme Court), to challenge the constitutionality of a legislation which provided that advocates and solicitors of less than seven years’ standing at the Malaysian Bar could not be members of the Malaysian Bar or of the Bar Committee of any of the States of Malaysia.
He was a member of the Mission to Hong Kong, appointed by the International Commission of Jurists in April 1991, to gather information and obtain views over the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People’s Republic of China on 1 July 1997. The Mission’s report entitled Countdown to 1997 was published in March 1992.
Since 1991, he has been an Executive Committee member of the National Human Rights Society (HAKAM). From 1992 to 1997, and from 2000 to 2001, he was the President of that Society.
He was elected as a Commissioner of the International Commission of Jurists in May 2006.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is indeed an honour and privilege to read this citation for Ungku.
The Malaysian Professional Centre (Balai Ikhtisas Malaysia (BIM)) together with Rotary International District 3300 and Integrity International Malaysia (IIM) organised the third Professional Integrity Awards Night on 11 April 2010 at the Royal Selangor Club Kuala Lumpur.