Restore Sabah, Sarawak rights to appoint judicial commissioners — Wan Junaidi

Dato Sri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar

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KUCHING, Jan 18: Santubong MP Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar agreed that amendment to Article 122 of the Federal Constitution, particularly related to the appointment of judicial commissioners, were among the laws passed in Parliament in breach of the Constitution.

“What (outgoing) Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri David Wong Dak Wah said is right.

“I have raised these in Parliament, urging the federal government to repeal or amend or at least seek to regularise to legitimise those laws and regulations. I am yet to receive a positive reply from the federal government,” he said in a statement today.

He was responding to outgoing Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri David Wong Dak Wah, urging relevant parties to look into Article 122AB, which took away the power of the respective governors of both Sabah and Sarawak to appoint judicial commissioners.

Article 122AB, he added, were some of the amendments in the Constitution, as well as several other federal laws and legislation now in forced in the country passed through Parliament without complying with the constitutional safeguard provided for in the Constitution.

Wan Junaidi pointed out that the amendment to Article 122, particularly the introduction of new Article 122AB, should only be made after the federal government obtained the concurrence of the governors of Sabah and Sarawak.

“The amendment to Article 122 include the introduction of five new Articles of 122A, 122AA, 122AB, 122B, and 122C under Part IX of the Constitution (which was passed) in 1994.

“The new Article 122AB is about the appointment of judicial commissioner for the dispatch of business in the High Court of in Malaya, High Court in Sarawak and in Sabah by Agong on the advice of the Prime Minister after consultation with the Chief Justice of the Federal Court. There is no requirement to consult Sarawak and Sabah in the new Article 122AB,” he explained.

He thus agreed that Article 122AB of the Constitution, which was passed in 1994 without the consent of the respective state government, contravened Article 161E(2)(b) of the Federal Constitution.

“Article 161E(2) provides that no amendment be made to the Federal Constitution without the concurrence of the Yang Di Pertua Negeri of Sarawak and Sabah where such amendment affect the constitution and jurisdiction of the High Court in Sabah and Sarawak and the appointment, removal and suspension of judges in the court of Sarawak and Sabah,” he said.

If the federal government is serious in giving back the eroded authority and rights of the state of Sabah and Sarawak, Wan Junaidi emphasised they should restore the position in the Constitution to that before 1994 amendments.

“If the new Articles are to be maintained, then those provisions under Article 122AB must be made to be consistent with the provision of Article 161E(2)(b),” he added. — DayakDaily