Last Saturday, I attended the dinner organised by the law faculty of Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM). This year’s event also marks the 50th anniversary since the inception of the faculty.
The dinner was held inside the Dewan Agong Tuanku Canselor (DATC), a fairly new building erected near the stadium. I remember the building’s construction started sometime when I joined UiTM. It was only completed a year before I graduated.
I don’t feel that the guests weren’t bored at all as the stage was never empty throughout the evening. The guests were presented with diverse performances ranging from zapin, ballad, jazz and even Bollywood dance. I I suppose this represents quintessentially what I say as the UiTM’s style. Just in the last decade the faculty can be attributed for producing not just lawyers but also famous celebrities such as Yuna Zarai now making her name in the West. I do remember her performing once at a faculty’s dinner and nobody was actually paying any attention to her. I think it was last year’s event as well when I remember there was a fashion show during the dinner’s event. I don’t think it’s an insult to say that we’re an extension for the music faculty.
Anyway, the highlight of the evening (for me) was the speech by the Chief Justice of Malaysia, Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Richard Malanjum. A proud alumnus of the faculty, he expressed his gratitude towards Tan Sri Arshad Ayub, the founder of the institution and well known educationist for taking the effort of going into the rural area to take him out to study. “If it wasn’t for UiTM, I might continue to be a farmer planting crops in my village”, were his exact words as he spoke in his thick Malay native accent.
After a short video montage, the outgoing dean invited Tan Sri Richard Malanjum to launch a book consisting of various legal essays written by practitioners and lecturers commemorating the golden jubilee.
I was lucky to meet some of my former lecturers. Generally speaking, it is heartening to note that many of them are aging gracefully. However, few of the which I managed to speak seem to have a general disappointment on the current students. They feel that students are not reading much lately. Students rarely read cases laws but rely on the notes inherited by the seniors instead. The technology doesn’t seem to help apparently as the lecturers complained that the students rely too much on the internet to give them the answer. I don’t want to use the word spoon-fed but I guess that’s exactly what’s happening. I think many of them will be disappointed.
Another highlight of the evening was the performance by Dato’ Nash, the lead vocalist for the Malay boyband, Lefthanded. Anyway, he performed his evergreen songs Tiada Lagi Kidungmu and Ku Dihalaman Rindu on minus one including two other English songs, Deep Purple’s Soldier of Fortune and another song (which I honestly can’t really remember now).
Outside the hall, several booths were set up by the faculty and sponsors of the evening. Some law students were selling the upcoming mock trial performance at a nominal entrance fee. I’ve heard good stories about the mock trial. Perhaps I should sign up this year.