PETALING JAYA: Aspiring lawyers must have a strong command of English for their future role in safeguarding Malaysia’s interests on the world stage, the Sultan of Perak said.
Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah said that as Malaysia pursued a bigger presence in the global marketplace, especially with the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), Malaysians would be further thrust into the limelight.
“The TPPA also brings with it many career opportunities for those in the legal profession since there will be increased flow of deals between nations and lawyers can benefit from advising clients on these complex cross-border deals.
“The level of proficiency in English, using the appropriate legal language and terminology, is an invaluable skill that can play a role in safeguarding and advancing Malaysia’s interests and the interests of Malaysian businesses,” he said in his speech at the 21st Certificate of Legal Profession (CLP) convocation yesterday.
He said that the ability to effectively express knowledge of the law was what separated great lawyers from mediocre ones.
Sultan Nazrin also highlighted the fact that cases interpreting statutes from English Common Law and those of other Commonwealth countries were often identical to Malaysian law, and therefore essential reference for Malaysian legal practitioners.
“The volumes of persuasive case law and international journals are all written in English.
“Without a solid grasp of the English language – including a proficiency in its complex legal phraseology and terminology – lawyers will not be able to understand and apply these references,” he said.
At the same time, Sultan Nazrin said it was every Malaysian’s duty to respect and uphold Bahasa Malaysia as the national language, especially when hosting official events.
“When I choose to remind legal practitioners about the importance of mastering the English language, this does not mean the patriotic spirit towards the country is waning.
“This reminder stems from the concern that we may be left behind in the increasingly competitive global race, in a world system where the skies are becoming wider,” he said.