This item has been updated since initial publication.
When I was asked to take on this role by the Bar Council last year, I made two decisions which, in hindsight, were absolutely critical to the success of the International Malaysia Law Conference ("IMLC") 2014.
Firstly, I accepted the wisdom and previous decisions of my three predecessors as Chairpersons of the Organising Committees of the premier law conference organised by the Bar Council – Roger Tan in 2007, Lim Chee Wee in 2010, and Raphael Tay in 2012. Please do not underestimate how much of the success of IMLC 2014 must be attributed to these three gentlemen. My job was made infinitely easier by the hard work and lessons learnt from these three previous conferences. We owe a great deal to all three of them. I will write the lessons learned from this IMLC ... soon.
Secondly – and most importantly – I chose to trust the Bar Council Secretariat. It was the best decision I have ever made. The staff are undoubtedly the hardest–working and most accomplished team I have ever had the pleasure of working with. Words cannot adequately describe the amount of gratitude I owe to the Chief Executive Officer, Rajen Devaraj, and the Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Chin Oy Sim, and the entire Bar Council Secretariat team.
I also had the absolute trust and confidence of the President, the Vice–President and my fellow Bar Council members, and I am grateful for that.
IMLC 2014 was always going to be judged on the quality of its content. We had to conceptualise and develop seven plenary sessions and 24 breakout sessions on many different areas and aspects of the law. I am extremely proud that most of the delegates I spoke to were pleased with what was presented, and I want to take this opportunity to thank all the speakers and moderators for being so very generous with their knowledge and experience, and sharing this with us.
I do want to make special mention of our three superstars.
Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma – a strong friend of the Malaysian Bar – for his immediate and unequivocal support for IMLC 2014 and for a truly inspiring keynote speech.
Lord Robert Walker – an old friend of the Malaysian Bar – someone whose support for the Malaysian Bar goes a very long way back. Thank you very much for the very insightful and enlightening talk on a topic that is not easy to understand, even for the most experienced of practitioners.
Justice Susan Kiefel of the High Court of Australia – a new friend of the Malaysian Bar – it was a delight to have met you and come to know you better over the last few days. Thank you so much for your session on an area of relevance to us as barristers and an issue that troubles all lawyers – exposure to liability.
I mention these three superstars not only to thank them personally but also to demonstrate the strong relationship the Malaysian Bar has with the legal community in these three leading common law jurisdictions, a relationship we hope to continue and strengthen even further in the coming years.
In this day and age, nothing can get done without money. I am very grateful to all our funders and sponsors. I will not mention all of them by name. If we have done our job well in giving them the maximum commercial exposure to our conference delegates, all of you should by now know exactly who they are. I do sincerely hope that the sponsors have obtained the best possible exposure at IMLC 2014 and we hope to work with you again in the near future.
That leaves me only to thank one last superstar. Tun Arifin Zakaria, the Chief Justice of Malaysia, was the first official IMLC 2014 delegate, as he responded immediately to our invitation a long time ago and confirmed his attendance for the Conference. It is therefore fitting that I end by thanking him for his strong support and the support of the Malaysian Judiciary for the IMLC, and thank all the Judges who attended the conference as delegates, speakers and as moderators. One of the things I will remember about IMLC 2014 is how the Judges attended almost all the sessions and mingled freely with Members of the Bar.
Thank you very much. And I wish everyone well for the future and I hope to see you again in 2016, at our next Conference!