- Mr Sin Boon Ann
Drew & Napier
'I would like to remind my colleague Dr Teo Ho Pin that one bird does not make a summer... that the majority of lawyers are people of great integrity and honesty.'
(In his reply, Dr Teo said: '...I think we are in for a long summer.')
- Mr Alvin Yeo
'Before I launch in the main thrust of my speech, I do feel compelled to add my comments after hearing the learned member Dr Teo's speech...
'The state of the profession is perhaps not as bad as it has been painted in some press articles.
'The number of cases involving rogue lawyers is a very, very small minority and in the context of a profession of over 3,500 practising lawyers... I do believe that the vast majority of practising lawyers do behave honourably.'
- Ms Ellen Lee
Ramdas & Wong
'I join my colleagues in the legal profession, Alvin Yeo and Sin Boon Ann, in contradicting the views expressed by Dr Teo Ho Pin about the legal profession.
'Many in our profession actually feel that, as lawyers, we are over-regulated and under-protected.'
- Mr Hri Kumar
Drew & Napier
'It is because the vast majority of lawyers are honest and honourable that when one falls, it makes the news and the public expresses its surprise and outrage.
'So let us keep things in perspective.
'I think we will really be in trouble when lawyers fall and no one clearly thinks too much about it.'
- Mr Michael Palmer
'Unfortunately, I am not as forgiving as the honourable member Mr Christopher de Souza.
(Mr De Souza, a lawyer at Lee & Lee, spoke just before Mr Palmer and did not give a vigorous rebuttal of Dr Teo's criticism).
'I echo the sentiments of the members that spoke against the state of the profession suggested by Dr Teo Ho Pin.
'We may have some naughty lawyers.
'But we are not a naughty profession.'
This article was first published in The New Paper on Aug 27, 2008.