Who is this guy behind 'Ask the Lawyer?'

I took this excerpt regarding 'Who am I' from my Professional Practice Paper for my Masters degree, which is my final paper for me to graduate with an Islamic finance qualification. In that PPP, I need to relate how my business has anything to do with Islamic finance. I am now trying to kill 2 birds with 1 stone by writing this PPP and writing this blog post (Read why here).

Before I continue, the rules in Malaysia regarding lawyers advertising their service is that I cannot say I am good at what I do. I cannot even solicit for business or tell of the victory that I have achieved in courts or other places. This will be very bland and matter of fact. Here is my story :

Going to the very basic (as this is an academic paper), I was a student during my secondary school years of Sekolah Menengah Agama Persekutuan which was a full boarding school in which Arabic language were taught and a must for all students to pass before we can pass high school. I took my law degree at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (National University of Malaysia) after passing my matriculation between 1994 until 1998. Again, Arabic is a must-pass subject and we were also taught the syariah aspect of the law which include the basic syariah law, Islamic criminal law, Islamic commercial law (muamalat), Islamic judicial law, Islamic evidence law and rules of syariah court in Malaysia. Through these subjects, I have managed to understand the basic regarding Islamic commercial law, which is the basis for Islamic finance and the backbone of how Islamic finance products from the basic saving accounts to the complicated sukuk are made today. 

When I graduated from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, I practiced as a lawyer in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, as a criminal lawyer. I also managed to obtain a certificate  as a syarie lawyer which is required of all lawyers who wanted to practice the syariah law in any state in Malaysia. The hierarchy and separation of law in Malaysia between conventional law and syariah law is such that all states in Malaysia are allowed to manage their own qualification for someone to practice syariah law in the court of that particular state. Some have their own judicial panel to allow lawyers to practice in that particular state syariah courts, some require those who applied to take exams and some interviews their candidate.

In my case, Negeri Sembilan (at that particular time) does not have an examination for syarie lawyer to pass to practice. They conducted interviews by a panel of syariah imminent persons which is chaired by the mufti of Negeri Sembilan and anyone who passed the interview will be issued a syarie lawyer certification and allowed to practice in the syariah court of Negeri Sembilan. I managed to pass that interview and I practiced as a syarie lawyer for 2 years in Negeri Sembilan, even when I have moved my practice to Bandar Sunway, Selangor.

In 2001, when I opened my practice in Selangor, my firm’s objective is to corner the real estate market which was the sunrise business at that particular time. As the real estate business is closely tied with the retail banking business, we also targeted banks as our clients. We send out our legal firm profiles, set up appointments, take the bankers for lunch or dinner, struck deal between bankers and developers so that they can benefited from each other and do all the things within our ambit as a lawyer to market ourselves.

The real estate market at that time was recuperating from the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis and the banks were still in the process of consolidation. Banks' staff morale are still fragile and well-known banks were 'eaten' up by smaller banks. From more than 20 banks, Malaysia were left with 11 (or was it 10) local banks. Even banks from around Asia which has branches in Malaysia consolidated themselves. We had many opportunity to market ourselves.

Other than just concentrating ourselves on real estate and banking, I still nurture myself to be able to handle a few other type of law. As this post is getting longer, let me continue that in another post....


Here goes a second try

I launched this website last December 2008. It was to compliment my book on property in Malaysia which is to be branded as 'Ask the Lawyer' series. The book is still in production due to my fascination with the blogging world and all my ideas and writing has been channeled into making sure my 2 blogs, Legal Cat-astrophe and As Good As It Gets have a post every day. Yep, every day. I managed to do that for more than a year for Legal Cat-asthrophe and As Good As It Gets is nearly there. It may not last for long but I will try to maintain that as long as I can.

Blogging  was supposed to be a hobby as I am not a techie or even a geek or even those who work in IT line. I am a lawyer, who love to read. I do have this tendency to overdo things when I come to like them. I was obsessed with PC games at one point, studying to see what grade I can get at one point, practising criminal law at one point and even collecting girlfriends at one point. After a year or two, the fad will past and I will be onto something else. I will now be turning Legal Cat-asthrophe into a business and event blog whilst maintaining As Good As It Gets as a relationship blog.

So, blogging has been fun and to tell you the truth has helped me meet new people and friends. I get to go to movie screenings, events, learn new stuff, get to know people from other countries and help me write better. I was lousy at writing a year ago (I thought I was good!). I am still in love with blogging but I am not going to be too obsess with it anymore. Time in the business world, especially the legal business in Malaysia, is tough and I need to prioritise and concentrate on the matter at hand.

This blog is a solution. Not to the whole problem but it may help me to help myself. I am offering free legal advice to anyone who has a question regarding any legal requirements or whatever law questions they have in mind. I am focusing on the law of Malaysia, West Malaysia specifically but I will try to answer or refer you to the people who can answer your question. If I cannot answer your question I will say so. If you want to email me direct, you can send your email to me at kruel74(at)gmail(dot)com.