ST Aug 9, 2006
MM Lee on lawyers, politicians and S'pore's future
THE idea of selling his skills, and doing a job where it did not matter if a client was in the right or wrong, did not appeal to Mr Lee Kuan Yew as a young lawyer here.
Recalling those times in the 1950s in an interview with the Singapore Law Gazette, Minister Mentor Lee also said he did not think highly of the adversarial system ...
Mr Lee said if he had remained a lawyer, 'it would have been a meaningless existence. I have been a participant and as prime minister, I studied the system. I found it an unfulfilling profession'. ....
He felt that his role when he was prime minister, was to ensure the legal system brought justice and that it should not be circumvented by skilful advocacy.
Meanwhile, a blogger, Dharmendra Yadav, has just published the full text of his exclusive interview in 1994 with the legendary David Marshall. An interesting contrast:
Incidentally, I thought that the ST article about MM Lee was quite pathetic. Basically, the "journalist" didn't do any footwork of his own at all - he merely reported what another publication, the Singapore Law Gazette, had written about MM Lee. Basically, a lot of copy, cut and paste, and zero value-add."I’m full of gratitude for having become a lawyer and, especially, a criminal lawyer; for having helped thousands of people terrified, helpless before the silly forces of society. They’ve looked into me as their protector. I have no regrets at all for having helped them; humanity, if you can understand this.
If you ever become a criminal lawyer, never look down upon your client. He may be a murderer or he may be a thief; he is a fellow human being. You must try and respect your client no matter what he has done. It is very important in your own self-respect in your work, and to help who is helpless in seeking help.
Look, at the age of 86, I can say in all earnestness, the thing that matters most in bringing human satisfaction is human relations. To be able to care for your fellow human beings, to be able to give! Never mind about receiving."
Blogger Dharmendra did a much more commendable job in his own 1994 interview with David Marshall, even though he was only a junior college student then. Do check it out - click on the link above.
Technorati: Singapore; law; criminal law.