KUALA LUMPUR, 21 APRIL 2022 – On the 21st of April 1972, barely just over a decade after the establishment of the Universiti Malaya (UM), the first law school in the country, Faculty of Law, Universiti Malaya was established and celebrated its 50th anniversary today. There was no pomp or ceremony, but a quiet entrance of one of the premier law schools today in the country was announced by statute.
The person who was working behind the scenes and saw the statutory recognition of the Faculty of Law, UM, come to fruition was Datuk G. Rajasooria. The founding Dean, the late Tan Sri Dato’ Professor Dr Ahmad Ibrahim, was appointed in August 1972, before the doors opened in September 1972 to 50 budding “lawyers”, the very first batch of the Law Faculty, Universiti Malaya, who graduated in 1976.
The Dean of Faculty of Law, Dato’ Associate Professor Dr. Johan Shamsuddin Hj. Sabaruddin said that today it is 50 years on, The Law School has flourished from a mere intake of 50 students in the first year to 160 undergraduate students per year (internal students), 450 postgraduate students, out of which 110 are pursuing their PhD (internal and remote) and more than 300 (external students).
“During its 5 decades, the Faculty has grown from being an institution imparting knowledge to those pursuing law as a career, to a professional environment growing in its goals to achieve excellence in the field of legal education and profession. In this regard, the Faculty continued to advance the goals of education for all, by introducing a fully coursework LLM programme in 1994 and a Bachelor of Jurisprudence (External) Degree Programme in 1996.
“From the first undergraduate degree conferred in 1976, the first Master graduates proudly received their scrolls in 1978, and two years later, followed by the award of the PhD. This pioneer batch of the Law Faculty were the very first “lawyers” who received their scrolls from the then Chancellor, Almarhum Ke Bawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Sultanah Kedah Darul Aman Sultanah Hajah Bahiyah Binti Almarhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman. The ground breaking group included Emeritus Professor Leong Wai Kum, from National University of Singapore and closer home, Tan Sri Zainun Ali, Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar, also now the first woman Board Member of Universiti Malaya, Tan Sri Alizatul Khair, and Tun Mohd Raus Shariff, former Chief Justice of Malaya.
“These names are by no means the only stars shining out of the Faculty of Law. The Faculty, right now, is bursting at the seams, with all the various illustrious personalities that have crossed the realm of excellence of the Faculty since its inception,” he said.
Dato’ Johan also said that the current eminent personalities are none other than the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob and the Chief Justice of Malaya Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, Azhar Azizan Harun, 10th Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat and not forgetting that several Court of Appeal and Federal Court Judges are also alumni of the Faculty. Other personalities include retired Federal Court Judge Dato’ Badariah Sahamid, Datuk Khaw Lake Tee (former Dean of Law and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Malaya), Dato Nik Ramlah Nik Mahmood (former Securities Commission Chairman), Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail (former Attorney General of Malaya), Tan Sri Dato’ Mohamad Ariff bin Md Yusof, (former speaker of the Dewan Rakyat), Dato’ Azalina Othman (former Deputy Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat) and Tan Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil (former Minister of the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry).
“We have reached the milestone of 50 years and are proud of our achievements. But this is not by any means a signal that we can rest on our laurels. We need to forge ahead with urgent fervour and enthusiasm, to continue in our journey of not only producing excellent graduates, but also to ensure our relevance and role in the growth of legal education in Malaysia.
“In conjunction with the 50th Golden Anniversary Jubilee Celebrations which will be held on 17th June 2022, the Faculty has lined up a number of programmes. We would like the former graduates of the Faculty of Law to kindly keep in touch with us, and to participate in as many of our programmes as we have planned for the whole of this year in order to make our 50th Anniversary a triumphant and brilliant year to be etched in our memories and to be passed on to the generations who will walk through the doors of the Faculty,” he added.
Please follow Faculty of Law’s 50th Golden Anniversary Jubilee Celebrations planned tentatively on 17th June 2022 on the:
Website : https://law.um.edu.my/