By Dorcas Ting
KUCHING, Sept 15: Chief Justice of Sarawak and Sabah (CJSS) Datuk Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim has set October 8 to decide on whether former Chief Justice of Sarawak and Sabah Tan Sri David Wong Dak Wah has Sarawak connections.
As mentioned in Section 2(2) of the Sarawak Advocates Ordinance, “a person shall be deemed to have Sarawak connections for the purposes of this Ordinance if, and only if, he
(a) has been born in Sarawak; 4 CAP. 110 (1958 ED.)
(b) has been ordinarily resident in Sarawak for a continuous period of five years or more; or
(c) satisfies the Chief Judge that he is, at the time when the question whether he has Sarawak connections is relevant, domiciled in Sarawak.”
CJSS Tan Sri Richard Malanjum who was born in Tuaran, Sabah was granted permanent resident status in Sarawak in 2016 and was therefore called to the Bar of Sarawak today.
Malanjum is also exempted of the whole period of pupillage as prescribed by Section 4 (1A) of the Advocates Ordinance (Sarawak Cap. 110) and under Section 4 (1B) (a) of the Advocates Ordinance (Sarawak Cap. 110).
As for Wong’s application to be called to the Bar of Sarawak, the Court, after hearing the submissions of Wong’s counsels Tan Kee Heng and Chong Siew Chiang and of the president of the Advocates Association of Sarawak (AAS) and representative of State Attorney-General`s Chambers (SAG) Nur Azhar Bujang, set October 8 to decide whether Wong had Sarawak connections or not.
If the Court is satisfied that Wong has Sarawak connections, he would then be allowed to be called to the Bar of Sarawak.
Both Malanjum who is also former Chief Justice of Malaysia and Wong are Sabahan. They have applied to be called to the Bar of Sarawak.
On their applications, AAS did not raise any objection.
Sarawak Attorney-General’s Chambers (SAG) on the other hand, accepted the application of Malanjum but rejected that of Wong.
Parti Bumi Kenyalang president Voon Lee Shan applied to intervene to safeguard Sarawak lawyers’ interest as provided by the Federal Constitution based on the spirit of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and to ensure that lawyers from outside Sarawak would be blocked to practice in the state.