Stories of Perseverance and Determination:

Highlights from the 'Resolved!' Book Launch

On Saturday, 25th March 2023, BAC Education hosted the eagerly anticipated book launch of ‘Resolved! 8 Strategies to be a Fiery Lawyer without Violating Your Integrity and Personality’. This book, written by Sitpah Selvaratnam, is her 2nd, after her authorial debut ‘The Arrest of the Superyacht Equanimity: How Malaysia Reclaimed What Was Hers’.

Sitpah Selvaratnam, a prolific lawyer and author, has returned with clear-cut strategies for becoming a principled lawyer. Her latest book is a testament to her unwavering commitment to the legal profession and to ethical practices, and is a good read for aspiring lawyers, and those already in the profession, seeking to maintain their integrity and personalities while navigating the demanding world of law. 

In addition to the book launch, this event, with the theme Embracing Equity in Every Aspect of Our Lives was also held in conjunction with International Women's Day, which was celebrated worldwide earlier this month.

This session featured a panel of three speakers: Sitpah Selvaratnam herself, Amanda Kong, a Community Advocate for Persons with Disabilities from Make it Right Movement (MIRM), and Fadillah Yakin, President of the Society for the Severely Mentally Handicapped (SSMH). Each speaker shared their unique insights and experiences, making for an informative and inspiring morning.

The morning began with an opening speech by Mr Raja Singham, the Managing Director of Brickfields Asia College (BAC), who introduced all three speakers as individuals with remarkable stories and backgrounds. He expressed his happiness to be a part of such a special occasion and welcomed everyone to the event.

With a commanding presence, she began her speech by sharing an interesting anecdote to differentiate the concepts of equality and equity.

“Equality is already good and hard to ensure. Equity is a level deeper; to be extra conscious is to ensure substantive fairness to suit the recipient. Always putting ourselves in the shoes of the other. It’s hard, but it’s the best thing we can do to take ourselves out of ourselves,” Sitpah said to the crowd.

“Whilst there are a variety of barriers, one very large barrier is the impact of lack of equity in their lives, over a period not just of one lifetime but centuries of inequity endured by the collective, as a gender.

Unfairness and a lack of equity can appear as she grows up at home, observing the best food being saved for the sons, certain chores being left to girls, and preferential treatment for the boys, an adult in the workplace; in our social environment, in our laws, and economical distribution of opportunities.

To undo the impact of prolonged inequity, therefore, requires a super conscious, concerted, focused effort on many fronts.” Sitpah made a point.

She went on to explain: “Under appreciation, lack of respect, blame and shame from lack of equity, are disempowering. When women are disempowered, mothers are disempowered. The next generation of youth is underpowered. And society pays a huge price for women’s disengagement. We have to embrace Equity in every aspect of our lives to lift our women from emotional insecurity, self-doubt and numbness. Equity is key to empowering women and society. We need to truly embrace it.”

Her speech was a powerful reminder that anything is possible if we remain steadfast in our pursuit of our dreams.

Amanda Kong, with her jovial, fun, and humorous demeanour, effortlessly captured the attention of the audience with her inspiring life story. As a visually impaired person, Amanda, a First Class law graduate from the University of Liverpool, shared her awe-inspiring life experiences. The audience was captivated till the very end as she unveiled the common misconceptions surrounding people with disabilities. In one memorable incident, she shared a story about taking an e-hailing ride where the driver casually asked if she was heading to a massage service, only to be left speechless when she revealed her qualifications as a lawyer.

Amanda reminded everyone that shying away from interacting with disabled people in the name of being "politically correct" could hinder meaningful conversations and dialogue. She encouraged people to come forward and have an open conversation rather than making assumptions. Her message was clear and powerful, serving as a reminder to the audience that we should always be willing to learn from, and connect with people who have different life experiences than our own. 

The final speaker of the event was none other than the tenacious and determined Fadillah Yakin, whose passion for helping the needy was palpable in her every word. Fadillah spoke about her journey with the Society for the Severely Handicapped (SSMH) and shared her experiences of how this vital organisation was severely underfunded. With her energetic and flamboyant outlook, Fadillah quickly took proactive measures, leveraging her extensive network to make small yet meaningful changes. She established donation boxes and merchandise to be sold to bring in sustainable funds, determined to make a positive impact on the lives of the needy.

As the event ended, Sitpah Selvaratnam had a short meet and interact session as she signed books purchased by attendees. This was a wonderful opportunity for attendees to have a tangible memory of the event and to continue their learning journey from the experiences shared during the book launch. The signing ceremony was a fitting end to a memorable event that celebrated the power of storytelling and the importance of sharing one's journey.

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