By Nigel Edgar
KUCHING, April 22: In his capacity as Piasau assemblyman and a Sarawakian, Datuk Sebastian Ting plans to sue de facto Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong, the federal government and the Prime Minister for an alleged breach of Article 121 (4) of the Federal Constitution.
The breach allegedly occurred with the impending relocation of the High Court Registry from Sarawak to Sabah this May 1 without consulting Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
“I know there is a breach of our constitution. In my own capacity (as Piasau assemblyman and a Sarawakian), I have consulted with my lawyers. I would like to take up the case and file an originating summons to bring this case to the High Court here,” he told reporters at the Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) headquarters here this afternoon.
Ting, who is also SUPP secretary-general, said it was important to safeguard the Federal Constitution and the rights of Sarawak.
He specifically mentioned Article 121(4), which he said was missed by Liew in his statement yesterday.
Article 121(4) states that ‘In determining where the principal registry of the High Court in Sabah and Sarawak is to be, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall act on the advice of the Prime Minister, who shall consult the Chief Ministers of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and the Chief Judge of the High Court’.
Ting said the issue here was not where the registry would be relocated to. The issue is that the Chief Minister of Sarawak was never consulted on the matter, which is a breach of Article 121(4).
“I see this as very important. Our constitution has been blatantly breached in clear writing. If we don’t do this, if I don’t do it myself here, we do not know what would be coming, how many more breaches of our constitution, especially those that are not in favour of Sarawak,” he said.
Ting opined that as an assemblyman and a Sarawakian, it was his duty to protect the state.
“Sarawak must always come first. As an assemblyman and a Sarawakian, I’m duty bound to make sure that I protect Sarawak and make sure that our rights in the constitution and also our rights in our Sarawak State Constitution must always be followed,” he said.
Asked who he intended to sue, he replied that Liew would definitely be one of them as well as the Government of Malaysia.
“We may even consider whether there is a need to include the PM (Dr Mahathir) because he was the one who advised our Agong. They are all interrelated.
“Let the court decide. Whatever it is, anything that is not helpful to Sarawak, and if there is a breach, we must go to court for it to make a decision. This is the only way to protect Sarawak’s interest,” asserted Ting. — DayakDaily