Last Saturday, I attended a 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.

The stage was never empty throughout the evening. The guests were presented with a myriad of performances ranging from zapin, ballad, jazz and even Bollywood dance. I I suppose this  represents quintessentially what I may say the UiTM’s style. Just in the last decade the faculty can be attributed for producing not just litigators but also  famous celebrities such as Yuna Zarai now making Malaysian proud 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 should be a complement that the faculty of law is an extension of the faculty of music.

Anyway, the highlight of the evening was the speech by the Chief Justice of Malaysia, Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Richard Malanjum. A proud alumnus of the faculty, Tan Sri expressed his gratitude towards Tan Sri Arshad Ayub, the founder of UiTM, who is also a staunch educationist.  “If it wasn’t for UiTM and (Tan Sri) Arshad Ayub’s efforts of taking me out from my village to study, I might never be a judge. I’d just continue being a farmer planting crops in my village”, as he spoke in his thick Malay native accent. 

To commemorate the golden jubilee, the outgoing dean, Dato Rahmat also launched a book consisting of 50 legal essays written by the lecturers and other practitioners. 

On a side note, I was grateful to meet some of my lecturers as well. It is heartening to note that many of them are aging gracefully. From the brief conversations which I’ve had, I realise that some of them were quite unhappy with the students these days. Many do not read cases anymore but rely solely on notes. I think many of these students will be disappointed once they enter the workforce.

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.