KUCHING, Sept 15: Former Chief Justice of Malaysia Tan Sri Richard Malanjum has been admitted to the Sarawak Bar.
The ruling was made this morning at the Kuching High Court by Chief Justice of Sarawak and Sabah Datuk Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim following the dismissal of the intervener application by senior advocate Voon Lee Shan.
Both the Advocates’ Association of Sarawak (AAS) and Sarawak State Attorney-General’s Chamber (SAG) did not object to Malanjum’s application to join the Bar. Malanjum is also a former Chief Judge of Sarawak and Sabah (CJSS).
Meanwhile, the application of another former CJSS, Tan Sri Wong Dak Wah to practise law in Sarawak is being heard this afternoon starting at 1.30pm.
The two former CJSSs had earlier applied to practise law in Sarawak.
Voon who is also president of Parti Bumi Kenyalang, objected to their applications, arguing that he brought the issue to the High Court to safeguard Sarawak lawyers’ interests as provided by the Federal Constitution based on the spirit of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and to ensure that lawyers from outside Sarawak will be blocked from practising law in the State.
He invoked the Sarawak Advocates Ordinance 1953 as grounds for his intervener application. The ordinance states that a person is deemed to have Sarawak connections if they are born in the state, have been a resident here for a continuous period of five years or more and are domiciled in Sarawak.
Both Malanjum and Wong are Sabahans.
This morning, Abang Iskandar dismissed Voon’s intervener application and ordered Voon to pay a total cost of RM30,000.
The present Chief Judge of Sarawak and Sabah ruled that Section 5(2) of the Sarawak Advocates Ordinance (SAO) only confers the rights to the AAS and SAG to receive petitions and to be heard in court pertaining to the application to be admitted to the Sarawak Bar. He held that the ordinance did not grant the same rights to other parties.
He also ruled that Voon’s petition under Order 15(6) of the SAO is not relevant, therefore he has no right to come before the Court to object to the petitions of both former CJSSs.
Voon was represented by Patrick Voon King Fatt, Tiong Ing Neng, Ardi Termizi, Bartholomew Lopez, R.J. Noel, Lim Heng Choo,Steven Sia and Peli Aron.
SAG was represented by Nur Azhar Bujang and Tarmizi Mohamad Tazuddin while the Association of Advocates Sarawak was represented by Rambir Singh.
Both petitioners were represented by Tan Kee Heng and Chong Siew Chiang. — DayakDaily