High Court fixes Jan 15 to hear Voon’s application

Voon (fourth from left) and his counsel, RJ Noel (first left) and Lim Heng Choo (third left).

By Dorcas Ting

KUCHING, Dec 11: The High Court here fixed Jan 15 next year to hear the application filed by Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) president, Voon Lee Shan to set aside the order of advocate admission as prescribed by Sarawak Advocates Ordinance 1953.

The order of advocate admission was decided by Chief Justice of Sabah and Sarawak (CJSS) Datuk Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim on Sept 15.

High Court Judicial Commissioner Alexander Siew, who presided over the mention of the case today, set Dec 28 for the applicant (Voon’s counsel) to file their written reply to the submissions by former chief justice Tan Sri Richard Malanjum’s counsel.

Siew also fixed Jan 15 next year to hear the oral submissions of both parties.

According to Malanjum’s counsel, Chong Siew Chiang, he clarified that Malanjum was applying for the admission as an advocate of Sarawak Bar but not to practice law in Sarawak.

Malanjum’s counsel, Chong Siew Chiang (second left) and Tan Kee Heng (third left).

He said, on Sept 15, the CJSS had ruled that Malamjum was qualified to be a member of Sarawak Bar and had allowed Malanjum to be a member of the Sarawak Bar.

Voon’s application was to set aside the said decision by the CJSS.

Malanjum’s counsel’s submissions are that High Court has no jurisdiction to decide on the matter as the power lies in CJSS and Voon had no locus standi, only the Advocates’ Association of Sarawak (AAS) and Sarawak State Attorney-General’s Chamber (SAG) have locus standi.

In Oct 5, Voon had filed an originating summons application to seek the court’s declaration that Malamjun’s admission as an advocate in Sarawak is illegal, null, and void.

He applied to set aside CJSS’s order of advocate admission of Malanjum as it has breached the Sarawak Advocates Ordinance 1952.

Earlier on, Voon applied to intervene in the application of two prominent non-Sarawakians’ (Malanjum and David Wong who was also former CJSS) requests to practice law in the state.

On Sept 15, CJSS Abang Iskandar dismissed the intervener application filed by Voon following no objections from AAS and SAG.

Voon’s argument was that he has the ‘locus standi’ to intervene in the application by Malanjum to practice law in Sarawak because it is stated that lawyers outside Sarawak are restricted from practising in Sarawak unless they can meet the requirement under the Sarawak Advocates Ordinance 1953.

The Advocates Ordinance 1953 states that only those with Sarawak connection can practice law in Sarawak.

Under the law, one is deemed to have Sarawak connections only if he was born in Sarawak, has been ordinarily a resident in Sarawak for a continuous period of five years or more, or domiciled in Sarawak.

Voon was represented by Lim Heng Choo and RJ Noel while Malanjum was represented by Tan Kee Heng and Chong Siew Chiang. — DayakDaily