Sunday, May 27, 2007
Hypocrites of the profession
May 27, 2007
CJ's first 'lecture' to new lawyers: Ethics is what matters most
It's not the amount of money you make, he says, giving each of the 233 new lawyers a book on ethics
By K.C. Vijayan, Law Correspondent
HAVING completed their law degree, some 233 new lawyers were yesterday given one last lecture by the Chief Justice before entering the profession.
He told them of his own travails over 40 years ago when he was in their shoes and even left them each with bed-time reading material - a book on ethics and professional responsibility.
Speaking of his own difficulties in being admitted to the Bar after finishing his pupilage in a law firm in Kuala Lumpur, CJ Chan Sek Keong said the challenges for new lawyers were even bigger.
Despite that, he reminded the new batch that the qualities which make a good lawyer remained the same - commitment to the profession, judiciary and clients.
Legal ethics, said CJ Chan, was still the most important trait.
A lawyer with high moral standards will win the trust of clients, peers and the court, he said.
'True success as a professional is the respect your peers have for you, and not the amount of money that you make from your practice.'
I wonder what kind of respect is Chan talking about? People like him are appointed to his job not by his peers but by the PAP prime minister. Same as his predecessor Yong Pung Sai, who was appointed by LKY to do LKY's bidding. Chan himself is quite infamous. During the 1997 general election PAP non-candidates were loitering inside polling stations. This happened in hotly contested Cheng San GRC. On that day Lee Hsien Loong, Goh Chok Tong and Tony Tan were all inside the polling station "lending support" to their beleaguered colleagues who were running against the Workers Party team led by JBJ. The law states that non-candidates cannot be inside polling stations so as not to influence voters or canvass votes. So the opposition lodged a complaint. The case went to court where Chan famously ruled that the PAP did not break any rules. His reason? "Plainly, a person inside a polling station cannot be said to be within a radius of 200 metres of a polling station"... i.e. you are already inside, so you can't be outside, so case dismissed.
Unbelievable? You better believe it!
With people like Chan and Yong, the law profession is a sick joke in SG. And Chan has the cheek to lecture about ethics! Hah!