1. My co–chairperson Honey Tan and I, together with the Organising Committee of the 2016 International Malaysian Law Conference are privileged and honoured to welcome all of you to the 2016 International Malaysian Law Conference. We wish all of you a very warm “Selamat Datang”, as we say in Malay and we hope the rousing drum beats will make an auspicious start to this conference.
2. When my co–chair and I were entrusted with the responsibility of organising the 2016 International Malaysian Law Conference, the challenge was to put together a conference that was relevant, purposeful and appropriate to the legal profession. We were mindful of the success of the previous 2 International Malaysian Law Conferences and thus lay the huge task before us of ensuring that we added value to the Malaysian Bar’s flagship event.
3. The formation of an Asean Community in 2015 where Malaysia played host was critical to our decision making. As co–chairs, we felt that it would be an opportune time to focus the 2016 edition of the International Malaysian Law Conference on building and creating opportunities in the Asean region. Thus, the theme we chose “Challenges of An Asean Community: Rule of Law, Business and being People Oriented” is designed to further this idea and an aspiration of the Malaysian Bar– that Malaysia will be used as a pivot into the rich and diverse Asean and its community, while at the same time creating and enabling opportunities for Malaysian lawyers to assert themselves in the region and the global legal environment.
4. The challenges and opportunities in the Asean market are aplenty. For example, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is seen as a major milestone in the regional economic integration agenda in ASEAN, offering opportunities in the form of a huge market of US$2.6 trillion and over 622 million people. In 2014, the AEC was collectively the third largest economy in Asia and the seventh largest in the world. Against this backdrop, the organising team is confident that the 2016 International Malaysian Law Conference will provide some of the tools and framework necessary to enable lawyers to take advantage and succeed.
5. Despite looking outward towards Asean and all that it has to offer, we have not forgotten the concerns and disquiet faced by lawyers domestically. The conference program is intended to ensure that key current challenges faced by lawyers locally are discussed, debated and, solutions provided. We have carefully tailored 3 distinct streams of 18 individual break–out sessions to cater for an array of subjects. These streams will focus on Legal Profession, Practice and Ethics, Business Law and International Law and Human Rights. In addition to the individual breakout streams, we have slotted in 7 plenaries on a multitude of subjects that we hope will provide ample discussion and takeaways.
6. Viewed collectively, the conference program is intended to provide for all levels of practice. Crucially, it is our hope that these sessions will challenge you to think about, and to re–examine your existing approach to legal practice given that lawyers are constantly facing an ever changing landscape of legal practice.
7. A conference of this stature and prestige is not easy to organise. A lot of effort has gone into this edition of the International Malaysian Law Conference. It would be remiss of me not to mention how blessed my co–chair and I have been to have a very good and dedicated support team from the Bar Council Secretariat. They have helped carry us through the finish line. We are also indebted and grateful to our sponsors who have believed in us and who have joined us in this remarkable journey.
8. It is my hope that the International Malaysian Law Conference will be an enriching and inspiring experience for you. I also hope that the International Malaysian Law Conference 2016 will give you confidence to face the many challenges that the immediate future brings. Please remember that conference is not just about plenaries and break–out sessions. It also an opportunity to make new friends, renew friendships while not forgetting to enjoy the revelry that this conference has to offer. The organising team is confident that you will not go disappointed and we hope that you leave with positive ideas and warm memories.
9. Once again, my co–chair Honey Tan and I welcome all of you to the International Malaysian Law Conference. We look forward to meeting all of you in the course of the conference.
Thank you and I wish you all a happy, rewarding and enriching International Malaysian Law Conference.