I have known the late To’ Puan Noraini Kassim from 1974 when we were both enrolled as law students in the University of Singapore.
She graduated with a LL.B Honours in 1978 and thereafter chambered as a pupil in the chambers of Yang Mulia Raja Aziz Addruse, a distinguished Advocate and Solicitor. She was called to the Malaysian Bar in 1979 and continued working as a legal assistant in the firm of Rithauddin & Aziz till 1980. From 1981 to 1982 she practised as a legal assistant in the firm of Onn Hussein & Yee and thereafter took a very long maternity leave till 1990 to care for her daughter who was born in 1983. She returned to the practice of law in 1990 and joined the firm of Shahrom & Co. and then set up her own firm of N. Kassim & Co. in 1992. In 1994 she joined the firm of Anad & Noraini as a partner and continued with the firm until her demise at a very young age of 45.
From my association with her, I found the late To’ Puan Noraini Kassim to be a person of very high moral caliber and extremely courageous. She had such a lot of character, strength and was an excellent listener. While she pursued excellence in the tasks that she performed, it was never coupled with a desire for the acquisition of material things. She rejoiced in the simple things in life and was always looking for the deeper meaning to life itself. Even though she was afflicted with a dreadful disease much earlier on, she never allowed that to affect her dealings with her friends, colleagues, employees and clients. She led as much a normal life as she possibly could within the confines placed on her by the disease. Sometime during the course of her practice she decided that she should give back to society as much as she possibly could. In pursuit of this, she embarked on a course of counselling and qualified as a trained counselor. In the last couple of years of her life, she devoted lesser time to the practice of law and much more time in counselling cancer patients and their families and helping them cope with the additional stress brought on by this disease. It was only in the couple of months before her demise when she became unable to perform these duties that she gave them up.
She was always there for people who needed her and tried to give as much of herself as she possible could. She leaves behind her beloved husband, Y.B. Dato’ Salehuddin Hashim and her 19 year old daughter, Teja. She is much missed by her family and her friends and colleagues and will always be remembered with love.