When I was in the army, I had the opportunity to befriended several army lawyers. One served as an admin officer in a unit that I was attached to while I was with the rangers. He was legally trained but I don’t have much respect for his capability as a lawyer. He was an AO with good management skills, strong commanding voice which is expected out of every soldier. Being a Sarawak Iban, he is also well known for his ability to stay sober despite drinking jugs of beer.
- Then there was another lawyer that I know in the service that I have a very high regards for. He knows the law. He knows how to use the law to defend soldiers rights and when needs arises he uses the same law to defend the Ministry of Defense. He uses the law creatively to an advantage position to defend what is right and what is wrong. When there is a conflict between a soldier and Mindef, he would study from the point of law to ensure that justice is done for those who deserve it. I benefitted from his services while serving in the Armed Forces and till today we are friends. All three of us are civilians today.
- Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting a government “Pegawai Undang Undang” or better known as a PUU at a meeting. Outright I must say is that he does not impress me. He seems to know of how to use the law in ensuring in a defensive manner. When I say “in a defensive manner”, it is not the same as using it as a defense tool in court of law. He uses the law and advice the government by saying the government cannot do this and cannot do that! In fact he spoke so well that seems that he has been using it regularly day in day out like a well trained parrot. Not even once within the time frame that he spoke he said what the government can do!
- I wonder how many high ranking PUU like him we have in the service. It is clear that he is not imaginative and has no interest in sharpening his legal skills. A doctor sharpens his skills by seeing patient and gets exposed to attempting to find solutions to unclear symptoms. This is done in a clinical setting. Similarly a lawyer can only sharpen his legal skills if he goes to court and challenge cases, win cases and create precedent. Sitting in an office and reading books does not develop adequate skills.
- Young PUU’s are not adequately exposed and they climb the hierarchy within the system by seniority and excellent apple polishing skills. Overtime they become Senior Federal Councils and may even reach the steps of AG Chambers. From my observation yesterday, now I know why many criminal escape justice and why the government loss so many cases. Our PUU has no balls to fight cases. They don’t want the extra work. Their advice is basically a step to avoid from being drag to court. Reality is when cases are won or loss, the judgment should be use to strengthen the laws. This is the way to protect the interest of the nation and its people.
- I told the PUU yesterday. People built fences around the houses to protect the owners from intrusion. In our case, our legal fences are full of holes. There is very little effort being done to mend the fences. This is our weakness. This is Singapore government strength. I remember Lee Kuan Yew once said on National Geographic that in Singapore they are the government. When the laws are weak, they take immediate steps to strengthen it. In Malaysia, the opposite is true. I guess I was not wrong when I said the government is “Harimau taada gigi”. I just found the evidence to substantiate my statement.courtesy of Rignts2Write(R2W)