Kevin Morais was a true believer in justice, fairness and fair play. Now we have to pick up the gauntlet and carry on his legacy, says Azailiza Mohd Ahad in a tribute.
“Good men must die, but death cannot kill their names.” – Unknown.
Family of the late Anthony Kevin Morais, friends, Ladies and gentlemen,
I am here today on behalf of the attorney general’s chambers to pay tribute to Anthony Kevin Morais. From where I stand, I am not alone – I am here with the strength of over a thousand officers from the attorney general’s chambers. I speak with the voice of over a thousand people.
As a deputy public prosecutor, Kevin never walked alone. He does not walk alone today. His legacy is to remind every chambers officer that no matter how lonely the righteous path may be, none of us ever walks alone. From now, we will also have a guardian angel in Kevin to guide our way.
Kevin served the judicial and legal service for about 29 years and was the deputy head of the appellate and trial division since he returned to the attorney general’s chambers in 2014 after serving the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission for many years.
To his family in chambers , Kevin was so much more than the person in charge, the brilliant prosecutor or the trusted colleague. He was, in fact, so many things to so many different people.
I am honoured to remember a man who was so loved by many. Kevin was a mentor, a brother, a teacher, a father-figure, a coffee buddy, a fashion icon, a best friend, a patriot. He was a beacon of inspiration to the young officers whom he called his “adik-adik”. I know his “adik-adik” are also the ones most devastated by his passing – they had the shortest time with him and they yearn for more.
To us in the senior management of the attorney general’s chambers, Kevin was an intelligent, trusted and ever generous colleague. Through all his years in service and to the end of his days, Kevin continued to be approachable and humble. He was indeed a ‘gem’ – as many have described him to be.
Family and friends,
in a sea of black and white, Anthony Kevin Morais was the glorious amber sunset. Kevin was far from ‘ordinary’. In fact, I have never heard anyone describe Kevin as such. And just as he was exceptional, he had a knack of making everyone he met feel special.
It was in the way he spoke and listened to you; it was in his kind eyes and in his gentle and polite demeanour. Kevin would always find something to say that would lighten your heart and have you smile.
He touched so many lives in the time he was with us, in his own little inimitable ways – from the security guards, to the canteen pastry seller, to the countless officers and staff.
Just as he was gentle and kind among friends, Kevin was as fierce and determined in carrying out his duties. He was a true believer in justice, fairness and fair play. He was always the epitome of good over evil, of light overcoming darkness, and this remains true, even in death. One should never be deceived by Kevin’s demeanour for he was in fact a giant amongst us in the legal fraternity.
Quoting another legal personality in his remembrance of Kevin, “today marks not only the great loss of a dedicated deputy public prosecutor, a mentor and a gem of a personality that he was but the sudden demise of humanity, compassion and above all the sense to live and let live.”
In his death, Kevin has forced us to examine our own mortality. What will our legacy be? How will others speak of us? Will we be remembered as dearly as Kevin and mourned by women and men alike, be they Malays, Chinese, Indians, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, young, old, senior, junior – just as he is? Kevin, you are indeed a class act!
Family and friends,
It is true what they say – you never know what you have, until it is lost to you.
For many of us in chambers, the passing of Kevin has brought sorrow and heartbreak like no other. Let the truth be told – the feeling of loss and regret will haunt and linger with us for many years.
There was never a chance to say goodbye, never a chance to tell him what he truly meant to us. Never a chance to make up for lost time and opportunities. In our hearts we hope and pray that Kevin passed on knowing that he was truly loved and cherished.
In the last few weeks, we have shared countless messages for Kevin. Many were solemn and sad; many shared treasured memories of him; many tried to make sense of a tragedy that was as senseless as it was evil; and many called for strength and unity in this time of darkness. However, all were unanimous in their praise, respect and admiration for Kevin.
Kevin’s job here is done – whilst the rest of us, we who remain, have to pick up the gauntlet and carry on as we know Kevin would have done.
Family and friends,
For as long as we remember Kevin in our hearts and in our actions, Kevin lives on. He will continue to walk through the doors of the attorney general’s chambers . We will find him in the hallways, as we leave for the evening to return home; we will see him when we look into the mirror.
For Kevin is in all of us – he lives through our memories of him, he lives through our thoughts of him and he lives in our hearts. Kevin lives – when we remember, and we must always remember.
For in his death, Kevin is telling us – have courage, strength and dignity, my friends. Don’t mourn me and despair, but remember me. Stay on the path of the righteous, and all will be well.
Kevin, we promise you – we will remember the sacrifice you made, through our tears and sadness, smiles and laughter. You will never be forgotten.
Farewell our dearest Kevin, we will miss you. Thank you for being a part of our family – we were blessed with you, even if it was only for the briefest of times.
YBhg Datuk Azailiza Mohd Ahad is solicitor general of Malaysia. This speech was delivered on
25 September 2015 at Kevin Morais’ wake at the Nirvana Memorial Centre, Kuala Lumpur.