Welcome to this world, Livia!!

At about 2am, I woke up hearing my wife groaning in pain. We thought it was just contraction pain and it may go away later. We were scheduled to meet our gynae the next morning.

However, the pain became unbearable and we came to the conclusion that my wife is going in labour. We were not sure because her water has not broke. Nevertheless, we packed our bags and headed straight to Pantai Hospital Bangsar. I brought my dSLR along.

I dropped her at the emergency counter and headed straight to the parking lot. When I got to the emergency counter, my wife was not there. I was told that she had been brought to the maternity ward.

The hospital was almost empty at that time. There were some guards but most of them were sleeping (one was snoring loudly). I wandered around the corridors before finding the maternity ward. There I found my wife on the bed. We were told that our gynae, Dr Patrick Chia, was on the way.

I must thank the person who invented epidural. Within a few minutes the pain went away. Nevertheless, we had to wait for the cervical dilation and I slept on the hospital chair. I had a sore bum a few hours later.

I drove out from the hospital to have lunch and check on our house. I returned to the hospital after taking a short nap at home.

We were planning to have natural birth but we abandoned the plan as our baby’s head was not in the proper position. We had to go for cesarean birth instead. It all happened in a jiff. Within minutes, my wife was wheeled to the operation room.

I had to change to hospital clothes and had to wait in a room.

I took this picture and posted it on Instagram.

Few minutes later, I was escorted to the operation room. By the time I was in the room, the doctors and nurses have started operating on my wife. The room was spacious and cold.

She said she didn’t feel any pain. The doctors and nurses seem to be having a hard time pulling our baby out. I think there were 5 people trying to get the baby out.

At 1:43pm on 1st April 2014, Foong Livia was born. She was 3.5kg.

The nurse immediately brought Livia to another table to clean her up. She wiped blood off her and clamped her umbilical cord. She also cut off Livia’s excessive cord and packed it into a bag.

I then pointed to a bowl filled with blood to the nurse.

“Is that the placenta?”



Livia was then brought to the nursery. I escorted her there while the doctors were patching my wife up. Livia was crying and seems to be shivering from the cold. I held her arms and feet to warm her up.

A nurse gave her 2 injections and she shrieked a little. After spending some time with her, I went back to our ward, C325, to check on my wife. She was no where to seen. I waited an hour and yet still no news about her. I got worried as the doctors and nurses were a bit rough on her. I later found out that she spent some time in the recovery room.

My wife’s second aunt and grandma were waiting at the lounge. They too were eagerly waiting for the arrival of my wife and Livia.

We were swamped with visitors for the first few days. Many brought gifts. Many thanks to those who came.

Livia had jaundice. We had to put her under ultraviolet light.

Livia and I before we left for home.

Livia opened her eyes on the second day. Here we are having a staring contest.

Wife was discharged on Friday and drove her and Livia home immediately. I’ve never driven so slow in my life.

We immediately picked up our confinement lady, Mei Che. She had been a great help. I wouldn’t know what we would do without her. She cleaned, cooked and took care of Livia for us.

My routine didn’t change much but my wife’s routine turned 360 degrees. Livia is being breastfed and she wants her milk every 1 – 3 hours. Sometime my wife takes an hour to feed Livia!

The feeling of being a father is a feeling that I’ve never felt before. Whenever I think of my little one, I feel joy in my heart.

It’s great to be a father!

Bar Activities 2014

Once again, I was elected as a committee member of the Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee for the year 2014 / 2015. This year’s Kuala Lumpur Bar Annual General Meeting went on smoothly and we achieved the highest quorum in the history of the Kuala Lumpur Bar. Fellow committee member, Jerry and I, gave a talk on data protection – a hot topic this year – during the AGM. This probably explains why we had the highest quorum in history this year!

Unlike last year, there was no voting as there were no extra candidates running for committee. I am chairing the Kuala Lumpur Information Technology and Publications Committee again this year.

I was also appointed as a co-chairperson of the Malaysian Bar Ad Hoc Committee on Personal Data Protection. Suaran Singh and Steven Thiru are my other co-chairpersons. I had asked for this committee to be formed when I was in the Bar Council Intellectual Property Committee. There was only a few of us in this Intellectual Property Committee that knows data protection laws well hence there was a need for a new committee to manage this new law.

I contacted quite a number of lawyers to join the committee and all of them were interested. For the first time, we had a group of Malaysian data protection lawyers sitting together to discuss on the data protection practice for lawyers. I am glad that many of them are very active. There are some committees that have many members but only a few would contribute their time. Sometimes I wonder why those people who do not contribute would want to join a committee if they are not contributing.

It’s been a busy first quarter for me. Bar work takes up quite a bit of my time but I enjoy it. I get to meet many lawyers and many opportunities arise from there. I guess some recognition by other fellow members is priceless.

Notwithstanding my active participation in the Bar, the Bar Council recently announced a ban on the use of virtual offices by lawyers. Circular No 049/2014 stated:-

Circular No 049/2014
Dated 7 Mar 2014

To Members of the Malaysian Bar

Law Firms Operating Through Virtual Offices

It has come to the Bar Council’s attention that several lawyers are operating their law practices through virtual offices.

The concept of a virtual office essentially means there is no physical presence of a law office. The office is “virtual” as it is merely a front, consisting of generic office facilities operated by another company offering the services of a receptionist and/or interchangeable meetings rooms, used by various parties (whether lawyers or not) paying for such services. Any telephone calls made to a lawyer utilising this arrangement are received by the receptionist, on the lawyer’s behalf, who would then convey the communication to the lawyer concerned, for example in a text message through a short message service (“SMS”). Documents are also received, on behalf of the lawyer, by the receptionist. The services of the receptionist and/or use of meeting rooms at a virtual office are shared by other lawyers and/or companies and/or businesses.

The Bar Council is of the view that lawyers practising through virtual offices are in breach of Ruling 7.03 of the Rules and Rulings of the Bar Council Malaysia, which provides as follows:

Where an Advocate and Solicitor shares an office or premises with another person (whether an Advocate and Solicitor or not), the office or premises must be partitioned off with separate and distinct entrances, with no connecting door between the two offices or premises. This Ruling shall not apply to Advocates and Solicitors who are partners of the same law firm.

Where a law firm operates through a virtual office, a further cause for concern arises in respect of confidentiality and the safekeeping of information, including files and documents, which appear to be lax in such virtual offices.

Members are therefore advised to cease such operations with immediate effect, as the Bar Council may take disciplinary action against lawyers who are reported to be operating through virtual offices

It caused dissatisfaction to some lawyers and myself. Instead of sulking, I decided to gather a few lawyers to work on this ban. I was planning to send a memorandum setting out the pros of a virtual office and criticize such ban. However, after meeting up with some of the group members, we decided to send a request for dialogue instead.

One point I learn from this episode is that no authority likes to be challenged. It is best to engage them directly regardless how wrong you think is the decision.

I am pleased that the Bar Council has contacted us to initiate a dialogue. Hope it goes well!