Official Launch Of The Books: Constitutional Monarchy, Rule Of Law And Good Governance Selected Essays And Speeches

Menghadap Paduka Seri Ayahanda

Duli Yang Maha Mulia Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah

Menghadap Paduka Bonda

Duli Yang Maha Mulia Tuanku Bainun

Ampun Tuanku

Sembah Anakanda mohon diampun.

Adapun Anakanda bersyukur ke hadrat ILAHI kerana dengan limpah rahmat dan izin dariNya jua, Paduka Seri Ayahanda dan Paduka Bonda dapat berangkat ke Majlis Pelancaran dua naskhah penerbitan, berjudul Constitutional Monarchy, Rule of Law and Good Governance: Selected Essays and Speeches dan The Sultan Azlan Shah Law Lectures 1986-2003: Judges on the Common Law.

Anakanda merafakkan sembah junjungan kasih yang setinggi-tingginya atas perkenan Paduka Seri Ayahanda dan Paduka Bonda mencemar duli ke Majlis ini.

Dipohonkan limpah perkenan Paduka Seri Ayahanda dan Paduka Bonda untuk membolehkan anakanda melafazkan titah ucapan di Majlis ini dan seterusnya bagi anakanda mempersilakan The Right Honourable Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales untuk menyampaikan ucapan beliau dan seterusnya bagi beliau menyempurnakan upacara pelancaran kedua-dua naskhah buku tersebut.

Ampun Tuanku,

It is indeed my pleasant duty to address you at this ceremony celebrating the launch of the two books Constitutional Monarchy, Rule of Law and Good Governance: Selected Essays and Speeches and The Sultan Azlan Shah Law Lectures: Judges on the Common Law.

It is not often that one has the opportunity to speak at the launch of a book written by one’s father, and another containing lectures by the world’s leading jurists in honour of one’s father.

I am overwhelmed by the presence of so many of you, representing a wide cross section of disciplines and professions. It is rare to see such an august gathering of diplomats, Attorney Generals, Judges (former and present), senior legal officers, leading doctors, dentists, engineers, architects and members of the corporate sector at a launching ceremony of law books. This is truly reflective of the multi-faceted audience that my father himself addressed over the past few years, and the close rapport he has with so many of you.

I am also honoured by the presence of The Right Honourable Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Woolf, who, together with Lady Woolf have specially traveled all the way from London to be present at this ceremony. On behalf of my family, I extend to them our appreciation for the honour that they bestow on us by their attendance.

During early childhood, my brother, my sisters and I remember vividly our father at home ploughing through heaps of law books and law reports late at night preparing for the cases before him the following day. At times, we saw him writing copious notes in notebooks which, I must now admit, looked more like ledger books to me then. He was then writing a judgment or making notes for future cases.


It was only recently that we discovered that over all these years he had always meticulously maintained a notebook for each branch of the law where he added annotations after reading the latest law reports or the law journals. He painstakingly did this to fulfil his keen interest in keeping abreast of the latest developments of the law. In fact, he continues with this practice even after he had left the judiciary. He still reads all the foreign law reports and law journals.

These notebooks, or ledgers I thought them to be, have been carefully preserved by him over the years and they are now proudly on display in the newly opened Sultan Azlan Shah Gallery in Kuala Kangsar.

My father’s love for the law, and his quest for justice was ever encompassing. Whilst serving on the judiciary, he strived to uphold the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, and to dispense justice without fear or favour.

On moral and ethical values he remains uncompromising. To him the line between what is right and what is wrong is always clearly defined. It was these very traits that both he and my mother inculcated in all their children. And it is these values that we, the children, now appreciate even more in our adult life. For this, we are truly grateful to them.

The judgments delivered by my father whilst on the Bench have been reported in the law reports and are also contained in the volume Judgments of HRH Sultan Azlan Shah, published in 1986. However, the many views that he expressed on certain important aspects of the law in the several speeches and lectures that he delivered both as Sultan and during his term as the Yang di Pertuan Agong remain inaccessible.

I felt it would be a most fitting tribute to my father if these lectures, speeches and essays were compiled in a book. At the same time, I also felt that it would be most appropriate to compile all the Sultan Azlan Shah lectures delivered over the past 18 years into a single volume, so that the wealth of knowledge contained in these lectures may be made available to a wider audience.

My ambitions to have these two publications were fulfilled when Professor Dato’ Seri Visu Sinnadurai agreed to undertake the enormous task of editing and producing the books. I was confident then that with his flair for writing and his own high standards and style he would produce two outstanding publications. True to these expectations, Dato’ Seri Visu has now produced the two most impressive books on the law I have seen. Not only are they impressive, they are edited with much thought and care.

I am truly grateful to Dato’ Seri Visu and his team of dedicated assistants for producing these two marvelous publications. I am confident that when you see the books you would also agree with me.

This evening we have present with us The Right Honourable Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Woolf, to launch these two books.

Lord Woolf is an ardent supporter of the independence of the judiciary, and in recent months has been very much involved in the reshaping of the senior judiciary in England and Wales. With the planned abolition of the post of the Lord Chancellor, and the subsequent establishment of the new Supreme Court to replace the House of Lords, Lord Woolf, as the present Chief Justice, would have become the new Head of the English judiciary.

There is no greater honour than to have Lord Woolf launch these books. Through the years, Lord and Lady Woolf have become treasured friends of our family and we are greatly appreciative of their support and friendship. We look forward to a strengthened friendship between our families and continued amity between our countries.

Interestingly, there is much in common between Lord Woolf and my father. Lord Woolf is the Chief Justice, and my father too was the Chief Justice. Both are great defenders of the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law.

Both have been and continue to be involved in higher education. Lord Woolf was Pro Chancellor of the University of London and my father is the Chancellor of the University of Malaya. Both have a passion for justice, especially against excessive administrative actions. Lord Woolf is the co-editor of the leading treatise, de Smith, Woolf & Jowell, Judicial Review of Administrative Action. He is also, together with his son Jeremy Woolf QC, the co-editor of the classic work, Zamir and Woolf: The Declaratory Judgment. But I will be quick to point out an important difference here. Unlike Lord Wolf, my father will not be able to rely on me to co-authour a law book with him!

It now gives me great pleasure to call upon The Right Honourable Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Woolf, to say a few words and to officially launch the books.

Lord Woolf.




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