Sabah, Sarawak High Court Registry on 10-year rotation between Kuching and KK

Abang Johari (left) presenting a prize to Pantai Damai assemblyman, Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi, a winner of GPS Backbenchers Club competition. 

By Nancy Nais

KUCHING, Nov 14: The Sabah and Sarawak High Court Registry will be be based between Kuching and Kota Kinabalu on a 10-year rotational basis effective Friday (Nov 15).

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg said a ‘compromised’ agreement has been reached, where initially the federal government’s decision was to totally move the registry to Kota Kinabalu in May this year.

He reaffirmed the view of the state ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), which did not agree to the relocation of the Sabah and Sarawak High Court Registry to the Sabah state capital.

“However, the decision has been made by Yang di-Pertuan Agong who acted upon the advice of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“Yes, they (Chief Registrar of the Federal Court of Malaysia and senior members of the judiciary) visited me yesterday. It is under Article 121(4) of the Malaysia Constitution that they have to consult and inform the state government of Mahathir’s decision,” Abang Johari said when met by reporters at GPS Backbenchers dinner here yesterday.

He was told that a decision has been made that they will alternate the registry every 10 years between the two states.

“We said why not continue or let it remain in Sarawak but the authority is with them (federal government). So we compromise by agreeing to the alternate solution,” he said.

On April 30, the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) unanimously passed the motion to reject the relocation of the principal registry.

A motion to reiterate the Sarawak DUN’s protest against the relocation was rejected at the state assembly sitting yesterday due to technical grounds.

Speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar disallowed the motion because it was received on Tuesday evening (Nov 12), less than 24 hours before the start yesterday’s sitting, as required under Standing Order 15.

Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How requested leave to move the motion to urge the state government to immediately undertake all necessary engagements and actions to “protect the sanctity” of the Federal Constitution and to safeguard the “inviolable constitutional rights” of Sarawak.

On April 19, a circular signed by the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court, Datuk Seri Latifah Mohd Tahar, had stated that the registry would be relocated to Kota Kinabalu on May 1, but it was not carried out as planned following strong objection from the Sarawak Chief Minister’s Office. — DayakDaily