Graduate Case Studies :: malaysia :: Farhan


  • Country
  • Company
    Attorney Generals Chambers
  • Job Sector
    Human Resources
  • Job Title
    Deputy Public Prosecutor

Farhan is the Deputy Public Prosecutor for the Attorney Generals Chambers in Putrajaya, Malaysia. Below he talks about his career and how he accomplished his goals, and gives you advice on how to be successful in your future.

What typical tasks and activities does your current role involve?

As a prosecutor I am charged with conducting criminal trials and appeals from the Magistrates Courts all the way to the High Courts of Malaya. As a member of the commercial crimes unit, I oversee investigations and prosecutions on financial crimes.

What skills, knowledge and experience contributed to you getting this job?

Besides having had a brief stint at a Chinese Takeaway in Bristol (and some other odd jobs) this is the first step in my legal career. I suppose membership at Lincoln′s Inn didn′t hurt either.

What key advice would you give to current Malaysian students who would like to get similar work to yours?

Apply only if your interest lies in criminal prosecution and you are not adverse to the idea of being daily involved in heated arguments with opposing counsel who more often than not will have no less than 8 years of experience ahead of you.

A point to note: The AG will be conducting your interview personally, accompanied by a panel of the heads of division (eight in total). Scare tactics will be used, and he will grill you until you are close to tears. Don′t let it on, and hold your ground. We have come to believe that the AG does this only to see how you hold up in court. He is not after your blood, contrary to the evidence saying otherwise.

Do you have any other useful advice for other current students and graduates?

This is a government job. In Malaysia. Therefore, expect culture shock. Its not all doom and gloom. Just different from what you are used to. I reckon all said and done, I′ve gained perspective with the AG′s Chambers, something I could not have had a glimpse at if I went private. It is much worse out there in the private sector where you cease to be a human being and become but a unit of production. I hear of a private firm which puts sensors into its Legal Associates′ chairs so that the partners could monitor for how long each LA spent at their respective workstations.

If human suffering in the least bit bothers you, or at least gets in the way of doing your job properly, don′t get into criminal practice. But then again, you are more likely to get roughed up by clients in small firm private practice. And anyway you wouldn′t know unless you have tried. But expect to ride an emotional roller-coaster.

The take home pay in the AG Chambers for an L41 legal officer (this is where you start) starts off at RM3000 and you can apply for an exemption from Pupillage after a year (which runs for 9 months in private practice). In monetary terms, you are much better off in the Government service for at least that year. Conversely in private practice, as a Pupil, expect between RM500 - RM1000 for the first year.

In the Government service, you will have conduct of your own briefs within three months of joining if you applied some initiative whereas in private practice, don′t expect to take to the floor and argue a case within at least a year or two of joining.