Distinguished Alumnus, the Chief Justice of Malaysia Visits the University

Chief Justice of Malaysia with Law studentsWe were delighted to welcome The Rt. Hon. Dato’ Lela Negara Tun Arifin bin Zakaria, Chief Justice of Malaysia back to the University this month. One of our most distinguished alumni, The Rt. Hon. Dato’ Lela Negara Tun Arifin bin Zakaria graduated in 1974 with an LLB. He was visiting the UK to be appointed an Honorary Bencher at the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn in London, an extremely prestigious honour, and he took the time whilst in the country to visit his old University. He was accompanied on his visit by his wife, Toh Puan Robiah Abdul Kadir, The Hon. Dato’ Mary Lim Thiam Suan, Justice Mah, Justice Hamid (both Court of Appeal Judges), and Mr Soo, Counsel and Treasurer of Lincoln’s Inn.

The Rt. Hon. Dato’ Lela Negara Tun Arifin bin Zakaria has had an illustrious career in Law and it all started here in Sheffield. Quite surprisingly, he actually applied to do a BA in Social Sciences but he quickly decided that it was in fact Law that he wanted to read. He approached the Dean of the Faculty and requested to change courses, fortunately for law (albeit less fortunately for economics and politics), the Dean agreed and he embarked on an LLB. At that time he was the only international student reading Law and in 1974 he graduated. Prior to his elevation to the High Court Bench of Malaysia, he had served in various capacities in the Government of Malaysia both in the Judicial Office, as well as in the Legal Department and he is a true inspiration for any legal mind.

Miles Stevenson, Director of Alumni and Donor Relations, gave the The Rt. Hon. Dato’ Lela Negara Tun Arifin bin Zakaria a tour of the University to see all the developments that have been made since 1974. The Chief Justice really enjoyed this, as well as his ride in the much loved and revered Paternoster Lift in the Arts Tower! The Rt. Hon. Dato’ Lela Negara Tun Arifin bin Zakaria also took the time to meet 20 current Law students from Malaysia and Singapore in the Slaughter & May Moot Court.

Whilst on his visit, the Chief Justice spoke passionately of his keen interest in promoting links between alumni and current students to better aid learning and prospects. Miles Stevenson said, ‘It was a true pleasure to welcome the The Rt. Hon. Dato’ Lela Negara Tun Arifin bin Zakaria back to the University. We are honoured and delighted by his enthusiasm to build connections between alumni and our current students. His remarkable career is a true inspiration to our students.’

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