5 legal eagles to state their case at DayakDaily’s forum, debate on equal status bill

The promotional material of the forum and a debate titled 'Should Sarawakians support the Amendment to Federal Constitution 1(2) Bill as tabled in Parliament on April 9, 2019, in the light of Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63)?', which will be held at Kuching Civic Centre on April 28, 2019, from 2.30pm to 6pm.

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By Karen Bong

KUCHING, April 24: DayakDaily is organising a forum and debate titled ‘Should Sarawakians support the Amendment to Federal Constitution 1(2) Bill as tabled in Parliament on April 9, 2019, in the light of Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63)?’

The event will be held on April 28 (Sunday) from 2.30pm to 6pm at the Kuching Civic Centre. The doors will open at 2.30pm and the forum is expected to start at 3pm and the debate 4pm.


This event is open to the public, and we welcome your attendance.

The main objective of the event is to re-examine the whole process of the tabling of the bill on April 9 and its implications as well as how should the amendment be construed in light of the MA63.

Both the forum and debate will be moderated by Arthur Lee Cheng Chuan, a lawyer and certified Master Mediator in the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak.

Lee is a University of London Honours graduate and was admitted to the English Bar by the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn in 1987. Upon his return, he was admitted as an Advocate in the High Court in Borneo in 1987 and has been practising law since then.

He is also on the panel of the Court Assisted Mediation Scheme currently being implemented to reduce the backlog of court cases in Malaysia.

The four-panel speakers for the forum are Muara Tuang assemblyman Dato Idris Buang, Padungan assemblyman Wong King Wei, senior lawyers Shankar Ram and Dominique Ng.

Idris graduated with a law degree from University of Buckingham, London, in 1982 with a Second Class Honours. He was admitted to the English Bar by the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn as Barrister in 1983.

Upon his return, he was admitted as Advocate and Solicitor in the High Court in Borneo in 1983 and practised until he set up his own legal firm in 1986. He stopped active practice of law ever since engaging in politics in 2000, but he still holds the Bar licence as a corporate lawyer, until now.

Idris was a police inspector for over six years before he resigned to pursue a law degree in 1979. He has served as the chief political secretary for six years from 2000 and as a Senator (2005-2011). He has been Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB)’s information chief since last year.

Shankar graduated from the University of Wales’ College of Cardiff in 1994 and did the Bar Vocational Course at the University of Westminster, London, from 1994-95. After passing the Bar Vocational Exams in 1995, he was called to the English Bar and was admitted as a Barrister of the Middle Temple.

He was admitted as an Advocate of the High Court in Sabah and Sarawak in 1996, Advocate of the Supreme Court of Brunei Darussalam in 1997 and Advocate and Solicitor of the High Court in Malaya in 2018.

Currently, Shankar is the sole proprietor of Messrs Thomas, Shankar Ram & Co. Advocates, Kuching, and an associate partner of Messrs Krishna Dallumah & Indran Advocates, Negeri Sembilan.

He is also a member of the Advocates Association of Sarawak and the Malaysian Bar.

His fields of practice includes all civil, corporate, criminal litigation and constitutional matters in the Magistrate’s Court, Sessions Court, High Court, Court of Appeal and the Federal Court (Appeal Matters).

Wong, on the other hand, enrolled for the Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) External Programme with the University of London after completing his A-Level at Advance Tertiary (ATC) in Kuala Lumpur.

He obtained his degree in 2003 and sat for the Certificate of Legal Practice (CLP) and passed in 2005. He was called to the Malayan Bar in 2006 after chambering with Cheang & Ariff Advocates.

Upon returning to Sarawak, Wong started chambering at Chong Brothers Advocates. He was called to the Sarawak Bar in April 2007. Three years later, he set up his own firm — King Wei & Clement Advocates and Solicitors.

Wong has been active in politics since 2006 and was first elected to the State Legislative Assembly in 2011, a role he held until today.

Meanwhile, Ng obtained his law degree from the University of London via external studies and sat for the CLP in Malaysia. He was called to the Sarawak Bar in 2000.

He founded the Sarawak Australian Graduates Association (Saga) and helped formed the Federation of Malaysian Electrical Dealers’ Association (Fomeda).

Ng is also politically active and has been involved in politics for 28 years, first in the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and later in Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR). He was elected as the assemblyman for Padungan and served from 2006 to 2011. He was the first PKR YB in Sarawak and was briefly PKR Sarawak chairman.

He is currently president of Sarawak Association for Peoples’ Aspirations (Sapa).

For the one-on-one debate, it will be a face-off between Idris and Iswardy Morni, who is the chairperson of a non-governmental organisation (NGO) called Pro Reformist 98 Sarawak.

Iswardy attended Kolej Dato Patinggi Abg Hj Abdillah (1994) before pursuing his Diploma in Law at Mara College in Banting in 1997 and later got his law degree from the University of Southampton, UK, in 2001.

Meanwhile, DayakDaily is an upcoming and fast-growing news portal in Sarawak. It is a Sarawakian news and media website focusing on local news that is close to the hearts of Sarawakians. Its news ranges from stories of the remotest and small native settlements in Sarawak to big issues, such as amendments to the Federal Constitution. — DayakDaily