Tuesday, 28 June 2016

You are what you like

Earlier during the weekend, it was the birthday of my love. And being the very-bad-at-gifts person that I am, I took so long to figure out what I should do to make the celebration more meaningful than just a nice date out for him.

I decided on accompanying him to do as many as possible the things that he was once –or still is– passionate about. He was made up by his interests, by his belief, by his mind. Even though he might have grown out from some of them (and I might have deprived him the time to continue with some too), I wanted him to feel how he felt back then – that person who liked himself so much cos he believed and enjoyed doing what he was doing. 

He is passionate about the law system. Call it family influence or not, his eyes never failed to light up whenever we discuss about its purpose, its power, and its shortcomings. So on his birthday morning, I brought him to the Singapore Supreme Court for hearings (Somebody please give me a ‘Coolest Girlfriend’ Award HAHA).

We found our way to the Appeal Court and it turned out to be such an experience. The part that hit us the most was watching a guy who didn’t even finish his primary school education representing himself in court against charges for drug trafficking in a language that was barely English, and subsequently failing the appeal (hardly with any surprise). It was, even to me, quite apparent that he was indeed the person who physically carried out the transaction. 

But it’s hard not to wonder what would actually change with his conviction. It definitely won’t stop thousands of other uneducated people from resorting to illegal activities for a livelihood, cos really, how else do we expect them to get a stable job in this society that merits certifications so much. Is it really their fault that they dropped out of school at 10? Do they not deserve to have a professional representing them to fight on a case that’s talking about life-or-death sentence just because they can’t afford the fees? It’s inevitable to equate the judge to a god-like figure when you witness for yourself the kind of power that he has over the life of a person. This person whom you barely met for 30 min, his words alone would determine if your life actually worth living.

To digress a little, it's not merely the judge that has this incomprehensible power. There was this iconic case called the ‘Buried Bodies Case’ that illustrates the power an attorney, though some may prefer to call it the occupational-ethics vs moral ethics debate. 

Give it a listen if you have an hour to spare (hello fellow bored people at work), if not, here’s the facts of the case:
  1. Attorney Frank Armani defended Robert Garrow, who was charged for murder.
  2. Garrow confessed to Armani that he was also the killer of another two girls whom the police thought was missing and was searching extensively for. He also revealed the locations of the buried bodies.
  3. Armani then went to the locations to see if the bodies were there and confirmed Garrow’s confession.
  4. He then used this piece of information as an leverage with the police to lessen Garrow’s sentence for the original charge (something like ‘I tell you this thing that you really want to know’ and ‘you have to give me what I want in return’).
  5. When the prosecutor rejected the bargain, Armani also refused to disclose the locations of the bodies despite public outcry and several pleas from girls' parents, citing attorney-client privilege
  6. There were some talks about disbarment initially, but it didn’t happen ultimately and Armani was even widely supported within the legal circle for remaining silent out of their duty of client confidentiality, aka occupational ethics. He even received some Distinguished Lawyer Award some years later.
Well, to me it’s just bullshit.
If we extend such logic to other industries, does it mean an accountant helping his employer in tax-evasion or falsifying accounts should not notify the authority, since them too, are bounded by the contract to not disclose confidential information of their clients? That ought to be the case usually, but not when your client has done something illegal, especially not when dead bodies are involved. Attorney’s ethics should not trumped over moral ethics in any case (it's like saying I am an attorney before I am a human being) and why is there even a conflict in the first place?! Safeguarding morals is one of the very fundamental reason for having a law system and now you are telling me there’s a clash between it and that of its executors’?! 

Sorry for the outburst. I just had to let it out

Yes this is the place. A place where too many fates have been sealed. But not guaranteed that it’s always with justice.

On another note, I brought the boy to donate some blood and I gloriously failed the criteria due to my low hemoglobin. Giving has always been a big part of his belief and so I wanted to arrange for some volunteering sessions initially. But there weren’t many last-minute opportunities in Singapore, so blood-donation it shalt be.

We stumbled upon this bar full of books and it was like an instant favourite hangout. We both felt guilty for not reading as much as we’d wish to, but really, it’s not that difficult once there’s no more screens around.

Dragged the boy to an underground bar (literally!) and being there made us realized that we should head out more often for a drink or two.

The night capped off by an intimate play on physical bodies and the beings carried in them. I barely had the habit of watching plays until I met Q, whom has always been very intrigued by theatre works despite always claiming that he has no artistic talents in him.

I like this person, who is assembled by all these likes of him and more. 
Thank you love for being you, this beautiful self of you.