I’m glad that I embarked on a practice involving data protection. It brought me clients that would not normally appoint small firms and it brought me places like Singapore and Sabah to give talks. On 8 March 2014, I made a trip to Kuching to give a talk to the Sarawak lawyers, organised by the Advocates’ Association of Sarawak.
I almost missed my flight to Kuching cause they closed the check in counter 45 minutes before departure. Fortunately, I had no check in bags hence they allowed me in. Phew. Since I was the last person, I was given the last row at the plane. You can’t recline your seat if you’re in the last row! Fortunately, I was the only one there.
It flight lasted about 1 hour 45 minutes.
Kuching is a beautiful and serene city. There were many rows of pretty pre-war shophouses.
The hospitality of the Sarawakian lawyers were great. Upon touchdown, Vice President of AAS, Leonard gave me a driven tour around Kuching city. We even passed by the old Court house and the unique looking State Assembly building.
After that we had dinner and drinks at Junk Restaurant. AAS treasurer Liew joined us after that. I had a few pints of stouts before ending the night at 11pm.
I am told that there were about 400 lawyers in Kuching (there are about 1200 over lawyers in Sarawak). Most of them are general practitioners unlike us in KL where we could specialize in certain areas. The oldest law firms are not really that old unlike the ones we have in Kuala Lumpur. The oldest I know is from the 1950s. I do not know whether there are still any old European law firms.
Membership in the AAS is not compulsory. The Sarawak Court manages the admission of lawyers and the Disciplinary Board supervises the lawyers. Leonard chairs the Kuching branch of AAS. I am told that they had to use their own resources to run the association because they don’t have their own secretariat.
AAS booked me a room at Pullman Hotel.
View of the foyer.
I got an upgrade to family room. It was too big for me! They gave me a King size bed with a single bed.
Before entering my room, I heard the sound of a TV show. I knocked on the door and I thought I was at the wrong room. I re-checked the number and it was the correct room.
I slotted my room card onto the door and opened the room. I was all dark except for the TV. I inserted the room card and the lights were then turned on. TV was showing WWE wrestling. I slept with the lights on the whole night!
Picture taken immediately upon entering the room – can anyone see anything floating around?
View from the hotel room.
The seminar was attended by around 60 people. It was okay. I got another invitation from the Miri lawyers association to speak as well. I even met lawyers from Sibu and Limbang.
After the talk, we had lunch at Tandoori Palace. It is owned by the Secretary of the AAS, Mr. Sarbjit. Food was awesome but shouldn’t have a glass of beer before my meal. I felt quite dehydrated!
The trip back was uneventful. I parked my car at KLIA (costs me RM61 only). Brought back a Sarawak layer cake – it was tasty.
On the next day, the news of missing aircraft MH370 came about. How sad. I could have crossed paths with some passengers. In fact, I later found out that one of the passengers, Stanley, was my former client’s staff. I remember him being a pleasant man.