About this segment: Person of the Month is an initiative by the University of Malaya Law Review which aims to feature a prominent member of the University of Malaya's Law Faculty towards the end of each month. The purpose of this segment is twofold. Firstly, to give due recognition to the contributions of our student leaders and secondly, so that their achievements might inspire other members of the faculty towards greater successes.
Ng Seng Yi, a final year law student in the Faculty of Law, University of Malaya
Ng Seng Yi or better known as Seng Yi is currently a final year student from Kuala Lumpur. He is well known for his leadership and charismatic presence in the faculty. Studying in this faculty has always been his dream since he was a child, hence he makes sure that his four years of journey in the faculty sails according to plan.
Seng Yi was the Law Society President 2016/2017, Students Representative Council 2015/2016, the Vice-Director of LawNite 2015/2016 and the Vice-Director of A day of Light 2015/2016. Outside the campus, he is also the National University Student Liaison Officer of Malaysia-China Legal Corporation Society, and he was part of the NTV7 & 8TV Student Newscaster Programme and a volunteer for National Human Rights Society (HAKAM). When asked about his life as the President of Law Society, he mentioned that it was bustling, but on the bright side, he matured along the way, and became more diplomatic.
UMLS board with Dean Associate Prof. Dr. Johan Shamsuddin Bin Hj Sabaruddin
During his tenure as the Law Society President, Seng Yi had always been advocating for better transparency- as such, the Board's greatest accomplishment was the passing of the University of Malaya Law Society (UMLS) Constitution, which has been an issue for the past 20 years. Passing the UMLS Constitution was not easy; it took massive teamwork, meticulous planning, a whole semester of publicity drive, and public discourse for this to be realised. The Constitution was finally passed after a six-hour long Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) during which the members contemplated on, and debated every single clause of the Constitution. Seng Yi also consulted the previous Presidents of the UMLS such as Hanani Rahman (2015/2016), Chai Duwei (2014/2015) and Mohamad Zufarsyah(2013/2014) from whom he asked for input and suggestions on how to improve UMLS as a whole body. His vision for the future of Law Society and the current board is that UMLS will be given more recognition and autonomy for future decisions, especially from the administrative body.
Seng Yi and Kalaivaanan, MPP for the 2015/2016 term
Seng Yi was also the MPP for the 2015/2016 term, alongside Kalaivaanan Murthy. He felt that being an MPP brought him an entirely different exposure compared to his previously held positions in the faculty. As an MPP, Seng Yi was mandated to voice out the concerns of the students as he was elected by the students, for the students. His mentor throughout the whole journey was his partner Kalaivaanan, and Abraham Au, the MPP from the previous term. A useful piece of advice Seng Yi gained from Abraham was “to always be diplomatic” as Abraham believes that good diplomacy skills are essential to reconcile the needs of the students, faculty and also Hal Ehwal Pelajar (HEP). Seng Yi’s greatest accomplishments during his tenure were ensuring the availability of water dispensers in the Lex Loci Student Lounge, removal of an abandoned van, and organizing a workshop in collaboration with Westlaw and Lexis Nexis for the members of the faculty.
LawNite Appreciation Dinner
Apart from being the President of the UMLS and a MPP, Seng Yi was also the Vice-Director of LawNite 2015/2016. LawNite is the faculty’s annual gala dinner to celebrate the academic and non-academic staff, and the students of the University of Malaya Law Faculty, as well as honoured members of the legal fraternity. Themed Renascentia and hosted at Sheraton Imperial Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, LawNite 2015/2016 was a huge success. Although Seng Yi and his team faced some challenges in organizing the event at first, one of which was having difficulties in finding sponsors, the team managed to pull it through thanks to the commitment from all the committee members, and Seng Yi’s leadership.
Seng Yi’s Axiata Program
While being actively involved in student organizations on campus, Seng Yi had also been able to avail himself for off-campus activities. He was part of the Young CEO Development Program (YCDP), organized by the Axiata Foundation. YCDP is a leadership development program which aims to train and equip Malaysian youths with personal and professional leadership skills essential to become the CEOs of tomorrow. The participants of YCDP have the opportunities to gain valuable insights from sharing sessions with esteemed business leaders such as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Iflix and Sime Darby. One of the motivations behind Seng Yi’s participation in this leadership programme despite his busy schedule was that, he believes “as law students, our trained legal minds should not be confined only to the legal field; instead, we should apply our analytical mind in the area of business too.”
Seng Yi has his own unique outlook on life. He holds on to the motto, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, just build a door.” He also makes it a point to always stay positive, focused, and humble, even when he faces adversities in life. His way of living his life is an embodiment of the tenet of ‘living life to the fullest’, and it serves as an exemplar for all of us to constantly stretch ourselves and pursue our goals to the fullest extent.