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!

London Food Guide

Monmouth Coffee Company

Apparently the best coffee in Borough Market. There’s a long queue to get your coffee and seats are limited.

If you can’t wait, there are many other small coffee kiosks around the market.

One of them is Flat Cap Borough.

I find Monmouth okay but loads of people like it judging from their queue. I find their latte a bit milky. Perhaps I should have ordered a piccolo or a machiato.

They have an interesting long table concept with bread and other condiments freely available for patrons.

Monmouth Coffee Company
2 Park Street
London SE1 9AB

Shoryu Ramen
Long, long queue to get in. Tables are small and it’s quite difficult to sit a large crowd. Notwithstanding that, their ramen and hirata bun (char siu with bun) are awesome. Met Sow here for dinner.

Shoryu Ramen
9 Regent St,
London SW1Y 4LR,

Nearest tube station: Picaddily Circus

Burger and Lobster

Only 3 things in the menu, burger, lobster or roe! We ordered burger and roe. Roe, in a form of a sandwich, is exceptionally good. Burger was tender and juicy but I should have ordered the lobster 🙁

There’s also a long queue to get in. We were there at 530pm and there was no queue. But the waiter and waitresses gave us dirty looks for sitting there too long.

Burger and Lobster
36 Dean street,
London W1D 4PS

The Elgin

My favourite cafe so far in London. Strategically located – just few doors from my apartment. Friendly service and great coffee (they serve piccolo here!). There’s no queue nor it is crowded.

Food is great. Pancakes and mushrooms on toasts are highly recommended.

The Elgin
225 Elgin Avenue
London W9 N1J
Nearest tube station: Maida Vale

Kuching, Sarawak 2014

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.

Colourful seats

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.

Chinese New Year 2014

CNY 2014 went well. We were in the Klang Valley most of the time except for one day where we had to travel to Mentakab to meet some of my wife’s relatives. I spent most of my time eating or playing with Finley, my cousin in law’s son.

Finley’s urinal. So cute!

The only thing that marred our CNY celebration was when my sister in law’s bag got snatched at Damansara Uptown while we were having lunch. She had unfortunately left it behind her seat. A young man in helmet grabbed her bag and ran toward a motorcycle driven by an accomplice. By the time I got out from the restaurant, they were already far away. She was supposed to go to Medan for holiday in the evening but her passport was in her bag! She also lost a quite a lot of money, a Samsung Note 3 and an expensive hand bag. We spent our afternoon in the police station (which was just a street away from the restaurant!). The bastards got away.

Our reunion dinner was at one of the Chinese restaurants at Seri Petaling. It was just my dad, my wife and myself. Mum decided to boycott the place cause she didn’t want to eat there. wtf. Fortunately, she didn’t kick a fuss when we had dinner at Chili Padi on the second day of CNY.

On this rare occasion, Aussie boys Umeng, sLoonG and Jin Han were back this Chinese New Year. It’s been a while since the three of them were in the same country at the same time.

Umeng on his first night in KL.

At WK’s house.

We spent quite a bit of time “playing cards” and attending open houses. My luck was almost the same last year. I won most of my Blackjack games against the banker. However, I lost all my dosh when I became the banker!

Speaking about open house, we had one at our home on the 4th day of Chinese New Year. We bought curry puffs, Nyonya cakes and mee siam for everyone. It lasted from 1pm to 1:30AM. I was so exhausted by then. Different groups of people come at different times!

I am glad that I made it to En Peng’s Pai Tin Kong session at his house on the 8th day of Chinese New Year. I’ve been attending it since high school and I thought I shouldn’t miss it at all. Attendance this year was sightly better with WK, Kiang, Mandy, Ping, Yoke Chin and myself. We folded some offerings while waiting for En Peng to serve the roasted pork. [Edit: Unfortunately, this is my last picture of En Peng’s father. He passed away on 28 February 2014 after a heart attack. May his soul rest in peace]

Kiang got told off by En Peng’s dad for wearing a cap while praying. Caught En Peng’s dad in action Haha.

Burning offerings


It’s our turn to organise CNY dinner with my sisters and their family. We had steamboat again.

Group picture taken with my camera phone. I broke my dSLR after I fell off the tripod! ARGH

It was a rather happening Chinese New Year. The year of the Horse will certainly bring joy, luck and happiness. HUAT AH!!

The year 2013 at a glance

2013 had been a good year. My practice was doing well. My book got published. I don’t remember any bad thing that happened that is worth a mention here.

The Firm

I had more work than last year. I don’t have many litigation cases but I managed to defend a patent infringement case in the High Court and successfully defended it in the Court of Appeal.

I also managed to get some large corporations as my clients. I think my ability is win work is not due to my media features but based on my reliability and likability. I always return calls, emails and messages within 24 hours. I am contactable 24/7. I am easy with my clients and not calculative. I will do what I promised. I think these are the keys of winning clients. Media features and articles are just a method to increase leads and educate potential clients and clients of my skills.

This year also marks the departure of my partner, Dymphna, to greener pastures. My previous intern, Chia Ann, rejoined me as an intern after her return from UK for her studies.


This year also marks the first time I went on a reading rampage. I’ve never enjoyed reading books until last year. I always thought I don’t need to read any books since I read case laws and contracts everyday. However, this year I read more than 20 books.

Karpal Singh’s book made the biggest impact on me. It made me rethink of the death sentence. His description of a mother dressed in black outside the prison waiting for her son to be executed was a sad thought.

Former High Court’s Judge, Ian Chin’s autobiography, “Justice Encounters”, was a good read too. This book comes with a CD of few hundred judgements written by him. The late PG Lim’s autobiography, “Kaleidoscope“, was also a good read. I love how she described her life was in the 1920s and 1930s.

I also bought some old antique books. I have a copy of a 1942 copy of Frank Swettenham’s Footprints in Malaya. His description of old Malaya is intriguing. He met Yap Ah Loy (third Kapitan of Kuala Lumpur) for a meal and he knows the guy who discovered Cameron Highlands!

The Last Eunuch of China – Life of Sun Yaoting has great insight of the Forbidden City during the Ching Dynasty. Sun’s story begun with him castrated by his own father. He was there was the last Emperor was kicked out from the Forbidden City. Of course, I read the Puyi’s, the Last Emperor of China, autobiography as well.


Visited Beijing, China. It’s my first time in motherland. Finally got to touch and climb the Great Wall of China.

I was elected as a Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee member. I was appointed to chair the Kuala Lumpur Bar Information Technology Committee.

Visited Singapore to give a talk on Malaysian data protection. I also attended the Startup Asia Conference. The conference was a great eye opener. It was great to see innovation at its best.

13th General Election. Disappointing results. But great build-up before election. It was my first time attending rallies in Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu.

My wife and I ran the Borneo Marathon. We both clocked 1:22. 

June was busy month for me. I was networking around.

I attended tech startup conference Echelon @ Singapore.

I went to Melaka to speak on “Marketing for Young Lawyers“. Got to meet some awesome Melaka lawyers.

I also gave a talk in Kota Kinabalu on data protection to the lawyers there on the invitation of the Sabah Bar.





Brastilava, Slovakia

Vienna, Austria.

I quite like our visit to Williamson Tunnels.


Celebrated my 32nd birthday with good friends and great food!

My first book, Compendium of Malaysian Intellectual Property Cases – Trade Marks, Volume 1, was published. I am told that we sold 50 books in December!

Wife and I visited Umeng in Macau!

I am happy to announce that we will be expecting a new member of our family. Our daughter estimated to arrive in April 2014!

We caught our little one yawning at 24 weeks.

Fatherhood here I come!

Hong Kong 2013: One Day Trip

We stopped by Hong Kong for a day to shop and eat. I took the opportunity to meet some business associates.

We took a ferry from Macau to Hong Kong. We had to bring our passport to get into Hong Kong. Although the trip to Macau is only an hour, I was seasick. I find it rather strange as I once survived a 8 hour grueling boat ride to Tioman (and terribly seasick too).

I am told that one should look at the horizon if one is seasick. However, all the windows were covered! However, I slept throughout our journey from Hong Kong back to Macau. I didn’t feel a thing.

We had dim sum for lunch at Lin Heung Tea House. I’ve never eaten dim sum in Hong Kong. My first time was interesting.

In Lin Heung, you must first fight for your seat. Then you must fight for the waiter’s attention to clean the mess left by the previous customer and for him to serve you drinks.

Once you win those battles, you have to enter the war against the other customers for your dimsum. The dim sum cart doesn’t come to you but you need to hunt them down to grab your dish. Some of the dim sum cart ladies were pushing the cart while I was choosing my dish. I felt like a refugee hunting down a lorry with food.

But I must say that food was good.

Awesome Ma Lai Kou

After lunch, I met two Hong Kong Intellectual Property lawyers to catch up with them. One is a partner of an international law firm whereas one just joined a newly established law firm as a partner. The former’s office is located at Central with numerous floors. Their reception has a few receptionists. It reminded me of another law firm in the UK. No doubt it was grand. We had a quick chat at a cafe below his office.

The latter’s office does not have a reception. I walked straight into their meeting room. In fact, the latter’s office is a paperless and open space office. They do not have receptionists or secretaries. But they do have junior lawyers and paralegals. Work from the western countries still flows into Hong Kong and this include subject matters arising in or relating to China notwithstanding that Hong Kong lawyers cannot practice in China unless they are PRC qualified. However, not all foreign law firms in China are profitable. I am told that many such firms are running at a loss.

Hong Kong Law Society abolished scale fees many years back and I am told that it affected conveyancing lawyers quite badly. Scale fee for trade mark registrations will soon be abolished too.

I’ve told many young lawyer, especially during my seminars with them, that they should move away from conveyancing as their main focus. Eventually one day the Bar Council will abolish scale fees and probably liberalise the conveyancing practice to non-lawyers. Lawyers with no other skills other than conveyancing will have a hard time surviving.

It rained the whole evening in Hong Kong. We got conned into buying a lousy HKD20 umbrella.

We had dinner at a highly recommended place called Tai Ping Koon. It was packed with people. We ordered fried beef noodles, roasted chicken and Portuguese chicken. The bill came up to 500+ HKD. LEI LOU MOU.

The chicken must have been fed with diamond and water from an extinct mountain and cooked with a gold work.

Cute baby seeking attention

I guess Hong Kong isn’t one of my favourite places on Earth. I have a conference here next year. No more Tai Ping Koon for me!

St Paul’s Ruins, Macau 2013

No trip to Macau is complete without visiting the ruins. I wasn’t keen with this place as I thought its a tourist trap. Indeed it is a tourist trap but there are many interesting things to see.

St Paul’s Ruins was filled to the brink. Many people were posing in front of the ruins to take pictures.

Took this photo with my Samsung Note 3. Click on the image for larger view.

We do not know why there was a group of photographers congregating here.

Back facade of the famous St Paul’s ruins.
There is a small crypt and museum behind the well preserved façade.

We hiked up to Monte Forte to check out the panoramic view of mainland Macao. Most of the views are uninterrupted thus it was a treat for photographers.

Another interesting picture I took using my Samsung Note 3. Click on image for larger view. I was blown away with how much details this camera phone can capture.


There is also a small museum in the fort. We paid a small fee to get in to learn a little about Macau.

Cricket fighting was very popular in Macau but it died down eventually. I guess all the crickets died due to mass development. Cricket fighting was so popular that enthusiasts had coffins and tombs for their beloved crickets.

This view reminds of the smelly peep shows of Amsterdam. Euw.

Street food is abundant in Macau.

Here we tried a fruit cocktail with orange juice.

Check out the menu.

“Gold coin egg biscuit” at Pun Ving Kei run by some old people. Although it looks like a simple pastry, there was a huge crowd in front of the store. Probably one of the best business one can hope for – simple recipe, low operation cost and unlimited supply of customers.

Seminar @ Kota Kinabalu, 2013

In June 2013, The Malaysian Bar and Sabah Law Association jointly organised a seminar in Kota Kinabalu and I was invited as a speaker to speak on data protection laws. We had about 50 people.

Sabah Law Association had kindly booked a room for me at Horizon Hotel. It costs RM300 a night. My room was nice and spacious.

View from the hotel

I discovered that it is extremely difficult to grab a taxi in Kota Kinabalu suburbs. Suaran (another lawyer and invited speaker) and I took taxi to Damai to eat at the legendary Fook Yuen at Damai. Our 5 minutes cab ride costs us RM20! Although the ted madras and roti kahwin were worth it, we were stranded in Damai after our delicious meal at Fook Yuen. We couldn’t get a taxi for half an hour.

Fortunately, we managed to flag down one Mr Usman to fetch us back to the hotel at a very reasonable rate.

Suaran and I also wandered around the city and went on an eating rampage. Although I’ve been to Kota Kinabalu many times, I’ve never had the opportunity to see the Filipino market and its surroundings.

I was in Kota Kinabalu for a short time but I managed to squeeze an hour with my in-laws after dinner. They brought me to the legendary and awesome Fook Yuen (again!).

The seminar was fun. It was well organised and the turn out was good. As a token of appreciation, the Sabah Bar presented me with a book consisting of a compilation of cases decided in the Native Court of Appeal, a special Court that deals with Sabah natives’ customary issues. The cases revealed disputes regarding wrongful trespass by animals, destruction of bamboo trees, theft of animals, damages for embarrassing someone, right to harvest bird nests, inheritance of customary lands and also marriage issues. Many of these cases involved the payment of damages by way of sogit – usually a cow or other animals. Failure to pay sogit can put the wrongdoer in jail! Sabah Law Association painstakingly went through many old files to extract the judgments. Many of these cases were presided by local Judges such as Richard Malanjum, Ian Chin and Nurchaya Haji Arshad. It was an interesting read. I finished it while waiting for my flight in the airport.

We later found out that our hotel was charging RM120 to fetch us to the airport (!!!) notwithstanding that it is only a 15 minutes drive. I called Mr Usman to fetch me and he agreed. However, he was uncontactable an hour before he was supposed to pick me up. Fortunately, he turned up on the pick up time and explained that his mobile phone ran out of battery.

My flight back to Kuala Lumpur was delayed for few hours. It was almost midnight and the airport was empty. I wandered around the airport and even went to the empty immigration desks and international departure hall. No one stopped me!

The House of Dancing Water @ City of Dreams, Macau

We took the opportunity to catch this famous show at City of Dreams.

It is Macau’s most expensive show, which combines water stunts, acrobatics, aerial arts and theater. USD250 million was invested in this show.

We bought the cheapest ticket (about 500HKD) thinking that we will need a binoculars to watch the show. However, the venue is pretty small. We were just a few rows away from the stage. We could even feel the water splashing on us (rather mildly).

The show is set on a stage which evolves from a pool to a dry stage. Actors were a mixture of Caucasians, Africans and a few Asians. The show is about a man trying to save a damsel in distress from the clutches of an evil Queen.

No one is allowed to record the show. You’ll get kids armed with a torch light shining on your face telling you to stop recording.

As grand as it looks, I feel that the stunts were not as impressive as the ones I saw in Beijing. Although Beijing’s acrobatic show was set on a rather poorly maintained theater, the acrobatic stunts were amazing. The ladies could bend their bodies in all forms.

They could even merge themselves together and transform into some sort of creature – just like the Transformers!

Compendium of Malaysian Intellectual Property Cases

They say one thing always lead to another.

It all started with a blog post entitled, “All Lawyers should have an iPad!” on LoyarBurok in 2011 which talks about the use of iPad by lawyers.

Immediately after posting that article, I was invited by the Bar Council to speak on the topic, “Use of Technology amongst Lawyers“.

Most of the participants of my talk were practitioners senior to me. However, Gaythri, the Head of Marketing of LexisNexis SEA (as then she was), a multinational legal information provider, attended too. She found out about my talk through Twitter.

After the talk, I was invited by Gaythri to review their upcoming LexisNexis iPad App which I gave input.

In early January 2012, LexisNexis sent me to Fukouka to attend the LexisNexis Customer Engagement Workshop at Fukouka. There I met Norainni, Associate Director of Product Development.

Before that, I started an eGroup on Google Groups called the Malaysian Intellectual Property and Information Technology Practitioner’s eGroup in 2009. I started the group with a purpose of sharing Court judgements relating to Intellectual Property and Information Technology. The eGroup grew and soon, many members started sharing judgements.

One day, in my effort of promoting my blawg, I thought of putting the these judgements online for people to download. I even thought of doing an eBook by compiling the judgements for download for free.

I guess my inspiration came from reading ancient case laws dating back to the early 1800s. A selection of oriental cases decided in the Supreme courts of the Straits’ Settlements by Robert Carr Woods Jr published in 1869 was one of my inspirations. The book was the first organised law report containing 12 cases decided between 1834 and 1869.

I was inspired by the words of James William Norton Kyshe in Cases heard and determined in Her Majesty’s Supreme Court of the Straits Settlements, 1808 – 1885. vol. i, p. i:-

“Upon a question on which the cases decided by the Superior Courts at home, cannot give much assistance, since its determination depends in great measure on local circumstances, I think it is to be regretted that the Recorders did not preserve their judgments by publishing them….. This absence of published judgments is, as I have just said, to be regretted, because much uncertainty will continue to hang over the Administration of Justice in the Settlement. Each Recorder must begin de novo, and solve for himself, as best he may, the question whether this or that Statute is in force here; and the law will fluctuate according as he unconsciously departs from the views of his predecessors, and as his views, again are, in similar unconsciousness, departed from by his successors.” Sir Benson Maxwell, Journal Indian, Archipelago, vol. iii., part i., p. 59

Few months ago, I met Norainni again few months later at a friend’s book launch. I told her about my book and I ended up with my first book deal.

My book, entitled “Compendium of Malaysian Intellectual Property Cases”, is a compilation of reported and unreported Malaysia intellectual property cases. In this book, I’ve prepared catchwords for each cases for easy reading. You do not need to read the entire case to get the important points.

The first volume of my book contains more than 70 trade mark cases. The cases have been divided into sections such as infringement, passing off, rectification and opposition.

If the sale of this book does well, LexisNexis may publish the other volumes which have other topics such as patents, copyright, industrial designs and confidential information.

I get a very small royalty from each book – not enough to sustain me when I retire. But making money is certainly not my priority. All I wanted is to leave an impact and legacy. I want this book to be around for hundred of years.

You can order my book at LexisNexis’ website! You can download an extract of the book here.