Kuhanandan Thananayagam

Lawyer, husband, father, friend. Born to Mr and Mrs M. Thananayagam on 19 September 1957, Kuhanandan, also known as T. Kuhan amongst the legal fraternity of Malaysia, was the youngest of seven children.

Kuhan received his primary education at Batu Road School in Kuala Lumpur, followed by his secondary education at Bukit Bintang Boys School, Petaling Jaya.

He graduated with a Law degree in 1982 from Thames Valley University and was a member of Lincoln’s Inn, eventually to be admitted as an Utter Barrister in 1983.

His caring and conscientious nature endeared him to all his friends and peers at University and he was eventually elected to become the first President of the University’s overseas alumni in Malaysia.

Kuhan served his pupillage under Gopal Sri Ram (as he then was, now Justice Dato’ Gopal Sri Ram, Judge of the Court of Appeal) in the chambers of Sri Ram and Co. and in 1984, was admitted to the High Court of Malaya as an Advocate & Solicitor. He was subsequently admitted to the High Court of Singapore in 1995.

In 1987, Kuhan commenced practice in a partnership together with 3 other well known lawyers and continued as the principal partner until his demise.

His other contributions in the various organisations, institutions were as follows:-

  1. President of Malaysian Intellectual Property Association (MIPA) (2008 until his demise).
  2. Past President of Asian Patent Attorneys Association (APAA), Malaysia Group (2000 – 2006).
  3. Councillor of ASEAN Intellectual Property Association (ASEAN IPA) (1989 until his demise).
  4. Councillor of Asian Patent Attorneys Association (APAA) Malaysia Group (2006 until his demise).
  5. Selected to attend the International Visitor’s Programme in the U.S. predominantly on IP at the invitation of the US State Department.
  6. Founder of an Educational Programme for the less fortunate children called “Didik Muda” – whereby extra classes were being provided in Bahasa Malaysia, English Language, Mathematics and Computer literacy for less fortunate primary school students in order to provide them with a firm foundation in their studies.
  7. Protem President of the Malaysian-American Friendship Alumni Association (MAFAA).
  8. Appointed by Malaysian Associated Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MAICCI) as nominee to sit on the National Development Committee of the National Chamber of Commerce & Industry (NCCI).
  9. His greatest contribution, in the words of the current Vice President of the Malaysian Intellectual Property Association, Mr Desmond Wee, was through Kuhan’s efforts during his tenure as President of APAA Malaysia Group, jointly with MIPA to organise and manage an international conference held in Kota Kinabalu in 2003, which earned a substantial amount of more than RM600,000 which was used to purchase two units of office premises at Menara Melawangi, Amcorp Trade Centre, Petaling Jaya in cash – one hosting MIPA’s own secretariat and the other being rented out.

Through the various posts that he had held and the several conferences as well as seminars that he had attended over the years, Kuhan was always a familiar figure in the Malaysian IP field. He was very keen to promote and develop Intellectual Property awareness in Malaysia.

A tireless worker, he dedicated his time to his legal practice, various causes as well as to his family.

He was always there for “his girls” as he referred to his family, his daughters’ first day at kindergarten, primary school, first outing to a shopping mall with friends etc.

His prime concern as far as his two daughters were concerned, was that they receive a well balanced education and hence, in early 2008, his wife and daughters left for Melbourne with a view to fulfilling this intention.

His family is devastated by his sudden departure but he will not be forgotten for his larger than life zest for life, fun, hard work, charity and warmth.

And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count,
it’s the life in your years.
~Abraham Lincoln~

Written By,
Prema Vallipuram