Judge me not

>> Friday, May 15, 2009

If you noticed, in my last posting I signed off by saying “don’t judge me before you know me”. Likewise in my profile, I stated “judge me only if you know me, otherwise keep mum”. These 2 phrases were coined by me for a reason. Most of us would have heard the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover”. All three phrases, albeit in different words, mean almost the same. Its a matter of language gymnastics.

In today’s “dog eat dog world”, everybody seems to have something to say about the person sitting next to him. Is it really necessary to pry into someone else’s life, just for the sake of it? Have we got nothing better to do? Why do we talk about other people’s backyard, when ours itself is dirty? Why judge a person when we cannot accept others judging us?

There are times when a judgment passed against another person can backfire. So why take the risk?

Just for the sake of mentioning. About a month ago, a friend of mine told me that there is a story being passed about me, by a resident in my Taman, that the way she looks at it, I am the poorest lawyer she has ever seen.

Fine with me – but where does it hurt her? Did she check my bank balance before making the statement? How does she know that I am the “most poor”? Is it because I live a modest life? Is it because I live in a small rented house and drive a 5 years old Wira? What right has she to make the statement? In other words, what right has she to pass judgment on me, when she hardly knows me, or shall I say, don't even know me?

I told my friend that the statement does not matter to me. In fact I am glad that in the sight of some people I am poor but amongst those who know me, they know my financial standing. Did the Prophet (pbuh) not say, don’t live a lavish life? Is it wrong if I elect to practice the sunnah?

I must confess that I am not rich but neither am I poor. My family and I live a happy life and my only daughter gets what she wants.

It so happened that a week after the judgment was passed on me, I bought a BMW 328i. No … I did not buy the BMW because I was hurt. In fact I did not even know there was this story about me being mongered. I bought the BMW as early preparation for my daughter who will be going off to Kuala Lumpur to study next year. She told me that she wanted to drive a BMW to college and so I bought her one. I saw the price was reasonable, so I took it home.

My buying the BMW was the reason why my friend told me the story about the gossip being mongered. My friend was having a good laugh since my timing was perfect. I thought otherwise.

Had I known about the gossip, I would not have bought the BMW, lest I be accused of trying to negate the gossip. But again, my response was - who cares. I live not for others but for my family and me.

After I had purchased the BMW, my friend’s missus had to add insult to injury, by telling this gossiper that I will soon be shifting from my rented house to my banglo which is now pending approval of plans. She told her that it is only a matter of time the contractors will start on the building. And to put the final nail into the gossiper's coffin, my friend's missus also told her that she was shocked when she saw how huge and beautiful my house is going to be.

After hearing that, both husband and wife, now try, as much as possible to avoid me. I suppose they feel wrong and guilty in making the negative judgment. Perhaps they realized now that they should not have made the judgment against me.

The moral of the story – is it worth judging someone you don’t know to the extent that you fear even going out of your own house just in case you bump into the person you tried to smear? I don’t think it is worth its while. So stop gossiping.

Why don’t we just take care of our own backyard instead of taking care of our neighbour’s …


Come, get to know me

>> Sunday, May 10, 2009

I was born in Kuantan, Pahang Darul Makmur as Mohan Singh. My paternal grand parents migrated to Raub from Punjab. Please don’t ask me when. The Sempalit Police Station (now used car show room) once belonged to my grand dad and was acquired by the Government and converted into a Police Station. The only thing good about the acquisition is that the government did not renovate or modify the structure. The original structure was maintained until as recently as 2008 when the station was converted to a used car show room.

I remember, sometime in the late 60’s, my sister and I went to the station for permission to pluck some mangoes in the compound and to our surprise, the policeman on duty told us that we don’t need any permission because the tree was planted, not by them but by my grand dad. The tree was therefore as good as ours as it was theirs.

My dad was a government servant and served in various government departments in Raub. His last posting in Raub was as head of the registration department. He was Senior Cambridge qualified and used to serve as a 2nd class magistrate in Raub and Kuala Lipis. In 1954 he was transferred to Kuantan where I was born in 1957. I am the youngest of 9 siblings. 11 actually, 2 died at birth.

Sometime in November, 1959, my dad was transferred to Ipoh. From my mum’s narratives, my dad went to Ipoh alone and before leaving, informed my mum that he will uproot the family from Kuantan once accommodation in Ipoh is available. Till then, my dad stayed in a Hotel in Ipoh. A few days after he left for Ipoh, my mum got news that my dad had died as a result of a fall from his hotel room. I was 22 months old at that time and my dad 39. To be frank, I don’t know my dad and I don’t know the kind of love he showered on me.

From 1959 till 1961 our life was nomadic. Moving from Kuantan to Taping, from Taiping to Bangsar and from Bangsar to Batu Gajah. I don’t remember Taiping and Bangsar, but yes, I have some sweet memories about Batu Gajah. Sometime in 1962, we moved back to Raub. This time for good.

In 1964 I was enrolled in Mahmud Primary School, Raub and finished 6 years of primary education in 4 years. Studied in Dato Shahbandar Hussin lower secondary school for 2 years and thereafter, Mahmud Secondary School Raub till 1973. I was hardly 16 when I finished my MCE (now SPM).

Too young to be employed permanently, I did odd jobs wherever I could. In estates, electrical shops, plumbing and you name it. It was only in 1979 that I was offered a job as a process server in a legal firm (Gill & Tang) in Kuala Lumpur. I was recommanded by my cousin, the late Karam Singh Veriah. Maybe some of you remember him as a great man while some will remember him as a menace. To me, he was a great guy.

I suppose, Mr. P S Gill (my mentor in civil litigation) saw some promise in me and within 1 year I was promoted to the post of a clerk entrusted to prepare court documents. It was from here that I started showing interest in law. In 1984 I was a chief clerk with the legendary Mr. Manjit Singh Dhillon (my mentor in criminal litigation) and thereafter, I did a short span with an old friend, Dato’ Othman Hashim, where I picked up and familairised myself with foreclosure proceedings.

I resigned from the legal fraternity in 1988 to pursue a carrier in auctioning. I was licensed to auction in 5 states. While carrying out business as an auctioneer under the name and style of Harris & Co, I started attending night classes at Goon Institute Kuala Lumpur, reading law. That was in 1995. After 2 years in Goon, I uprooted my family to Chelmsford, England to complete my final year in law studies. I graduated in 1997 and was admitted and enrolled as a advocate and Solicitor of the High Court, Malaya in 1999.

You can see that I am a self made man. Unlike some, I was born with no silver spoon in my mouth and no handouts from anybody. No grants, loans or scholarships from the Government agencies. I struggled and strived and achieved my dreams.

Before I forget, in 1983 I embraced Islam and became known as Mohd Harris Abdullah. In 1984 I married my wife, who also hails from Raub. We met in Kuala Lumpur. In 1993, we had our first child and to our horror was also our last. Nur Diana Khan came to this world after 9 years of our marriage.

From 1979 to 2006, I lived and worked in Kuala Lumpur. In 1998 I commenced practice in Kuala Lumpur under the name and style of Mohd Harris Mohan & Partners. My very own firm. In October, 2006, I converted my firm from a sole-proprietorship to a partnership known as Harris & Zakiah. In December, 2006 I resigned from Harris & Zakiah and handed over the firm - lock, stock and barrel to Zakiah and moved to Raub. In January, 2007 I commenced practice in Raub under the name and style of The Law Office of Mohd Harris.

My mum passed away in September, 2007. She is until today remembered as the walking lady of Bukit Koman. Yes, my mum, for health purposes, walked every day to and fro Bukit Koman and Raub.

Many in Raub do not know me. I was labeled a newcomer trying to sabotage established firms in Raub. Maybe after reading this, you will be able to paint a real picture of me. I am a third generation Raubian and my daughter, fourth. I am no newcomer to Raub. I was walking the streets of Raub even before some of you were born. I have laughed, cried, suffered, sweated, and had good time and bad times in Raub. Raub is where I belong. My soul is at peace in Raub.

Don’t judge me before you know me. Get to know me – I may be reserved but not as arrogant as some think I am.



Hello everybody.

This blog was launched by me today. It will include postings touching and concerning daily aspects of life, not necessarily mine. One thing for sure - I will not indulge in politics. If politics is what you are looking for, please browse - http://www.pkrraub.blogspot.com/. This blog is also managed by me.

If you want to join me in a healthy discussion on any topic, feel free to indicate the topic to me via my shout box and I will be glad to join you. Please state your name when you come forward as I will not entertain anyone who elects to remain anonymous.

Please respect this blog and mind your language.

Hope to hear from you soon


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