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KUCHING, April 21: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Parliamentary Affair) Datuk Liew Vui Keong clarified that the decision to move the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak Registry to Kota Kinabalu has no financial implications.
He also clarified that the decision was in essence purely a judicial decision and changes nothing as far as the administration of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak is concerned, adding that nothing physical would move except for the residence of the Registrar of the High Court.
“When the new Kota Kinabalu Court Complex was ready for occupation late last year, the former Chief Judge (CJ) Tan Sri Richard Malanjum thought the time has come for Sabah to house the registry.
“This idea was put to the top management who also agreed. However the Advocates Association of Sarawak flatly rejected the idea,” said Liew.
He explained that last March, Malanjum wrote to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for permission to move the registry to Kota Kinabalu premised on several reasons to which the Prime Minister consented.
“Thereafter the Yang di-Pertuan Agong granted his royal assent to move the registry to Kota Kinabalu in early April. It is only after that the Chief Registrar issued the circular of relocation on April 19, 2019,” said Liew.
Since independence, he said the registry of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak has always been in Kuching. So for 55 years the registry has been seated in Sarawak.
“There is nothing in law or in the Constitution which says that the Registry shall remain in Kuching forever.
“In fact it’s to the contrary as provided in Article 121 (4) of the Federal Constitution. Impliedly Sabah too has its right to house the Registry,” Liew insisted. — DayakDaily