SUPP Youth: High Court of Sabah, Sarawak should have own registry

Milton Foo

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KUCHING, Nov 15: The High Court of Sabah and Sarawak should have their own registry to reflect the three regions, including Peninsular Malaysia, that are part of the Malaysian Federation.

Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Youth secretary Milton Foo believed this should be possible since Sarawak, Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia, the three entities that made up Malaysia, have their respective Bars, attorney generals, as well as police commissioners.

“We should have our own Chief Justice of Sarawak. Sabah will have its own,” he said in a statement today.

He added that Article 121(1)(b) of the Federal Constitution and Courts of Judicature Act 1964 should be amended by parliamentarians to establish a separate High Court of Sarawak, in this regard, to reflect the true spirit of the MA63 (the Malaysia Agreement 1963) and also in line with Sarawak’s autonomy.

“I hope 18 GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) MPs will stand firm on this issue to table a motion in Parliament to amend the law in this regard.

“This is also in tandem with the motion passed by Sarawak Legislative Assembly, which unanimously rejected the relocation of the principal registry on 30 April 2019.

“It is absurd that while we have three separate Bars in Malaysia, we only have two high court registries in the country,” said Foo.

He added that the ranking of the Registry (of High Court Sarawak) and the distinctive High Court must be of equal status, which means all appeals from Sabah and Sarawak must have a quorum of at least one superior judge from each High Court Registry.

“If it is a full panel, at least half of the panel of the superior judges must come from Sabah and Sarawak. This is the only meaningful way to ensure impartiality of the Superior Courts in Malaysia.”

On the related issues of revenue collected, he believed that all revenues collected by way of fines and court filing fees must be applied to the upkeep and well maintenance of the buildings and premises in the respective High Courts.

“As we do not want to see our courts of law in Sarawak to turn into dilapidated like the schools in Sarawak,” he said.

Foo was responding to the recent judiciary development where decision has been made that Sabah and Sarawak High Court Registry will be based between Kuching and Kota Kinabalu on a 10-year rotational basis effective Friday (Nov 15).

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

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 GPS, which did not agree to the relocation of the Sabah and Sarawak High Court Registry to the Sabah state capital. — DayakDaily