RM9 million worth of books owned by late Gopal Sri Ram given away [NSTTV]

KUALA LUMPUR: The family of the late Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram has given away more than 10,000 books and law journals worth about RM9 million to the University Malaya (UM) law faculty library.

The books, delivered to the library in a five-tonne trailer, included rare law journals dating back to 1890.

UM law faculty dean Professor Dr Jason Chuah said the gift was significant to commemorate the relationship of the late Sri Ram with the law faculty at UM.

"The gift is also made in memory of Dr S. R. Ranganathan, the granduncle of Sri Ram's wife Datin Seri Chandra Sri Ram who developed the first major faceted library classification system – the colon classification.

"It (colon classification) is fundamental in the field of library science and has influenced modern classification systems in the world," he said in a statement today.

He said the collection is not only beneficial for law students and practitioners but also for anyone engaged in legal and archival research, particularly into rare law and legal science books from all parts of the Commonwealth.

"The collection will house one of the largest collections of Indian law reports and books outside India, in Asia.

"Given the late Sri Ram's interest in administrative law, it is unsurprising that his personal collection contains one of the most comprehensive catalogue of books on the subject."

Prof Chuah said the books have been moved into the UM law library awaiting cataloguing and shelving led by its chief Adida Mohd Amin.

"Our vice chancellor, Professor Datuk Seri Dr Noor Azuan Abu Osman expresses his gratitude to Datin Seri (Chandra) for making this important contribution to the intellectual presence of Universiti Malaya in Law for generations to come," he said.

He added the gift shall be named - The Personal Collection of the late Justice Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram donated by Datin Seri Chandra Sri Ram to the University of Malaya in memory of the world renowned Librarian and Information Scientist, Dr S. R. Ranganathan.

Meanwhile, Adida said library staff had been working diligently to organise all the books which were sent to the library about two weeks ago.

"The collection was truly astonishing, featuring several exceptionally rare international law journals dating back to 1890

"It's amazing... as most of the books are still in pristine condition," she said when met at the UM law faculty premises today.

Sri Ram was the lead prosecutor in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) corruption trial of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak before he passed away earlier this year. He was 79.

He was also leading the prosecution of Najib's wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, in cases involving corruption in a hybrid-solar power project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak and money laundering amounting to RM7 million.

The former federal court judge, who passed away in January, commanded respect not only from his subordinates but also from adversaries who faced him in legal battles.

Described as Malaysia's own Lord Denning due to his extensive legal knowledge, Sri Ram's demise is widely regarded as a significant loss to the legal fraternity, where he stood out in a class of his own.

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