From Hishamudin Yunus
I have lost a great friend and colleague. The nation has lost a great judge and a great lawyer.
The late Gopal Sri Ram and I go a long way back. I remember when I was a new magistrate in Klang in 1973 and he appeared before me. I think that was the first time we were introduced to each other.
Later, in the early 1990s, we met again during court proceedings when I was the state legal adviser of Selangor.
There was an occasion, I remember, when we were on opposite sides on a land matter. He was always a gracious opponent.
We fostered a close friendship when he was later elevated to the Court of Appeal. I was already a judge then.
I congratulated him on his appointment. As we had not met for quite some time, I asked him: “Mr Sri Ram, do you still remember me?”
His reply was typical of his wit, humour and humility: “How could I forget you, Hisham? I lost to you in that land case, didn’t I?”
I shall remember him for always being helpful and professional.
His knowledge of the law was profound, and he had answers ready for any legal issue that l posed to him, from the Law of Trusts to constitutional law, the latter being his favourite.
He was always eager to share his knowledge. Indeed, he was the first judge to adopt the Doctrine of Basic Structure in the case of Sivarasa Rasiah.
Of course, in his hundreds of reported judgments, he propounded many other legal principles as well.
My deepest condolences to his family. May God bless his soul.
Hishamudin Yunus was a former Court of Appeal judge and is an FMT reader.
The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.