Unanimous support for motion urging state govt to stand firm over relocation of High Court registry

Seen is See tabling his motion in the House in this photo of the DUN in-house broadcast feed.

By Lian Cheng and Karen Bong

KUCHING, April 30: See Chee How (PKR-Batu Lintang) tabled a motion for the Sarawak government to stand firm against the relocation of the Registry of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak from Kuching to Kota Kinabalu.

The motion also specified that immediate engagements and actions be taken to protect the sanctity of the Federal Constitution and to safeguard the rights of Sarawak.

The motion was unanimously passed with support from all members of the House.

When tabling the motion, See noted that on April 19, the Office of the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court of Malaysia had issued a letter of notice, notifying all Honourable Judges, Court Registries, relevant government authorities, agencies and the Bar Council and Advocates Associations, of the impending relocation of the Office of the Registrar of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak from Kuching, Sarawak to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, effective May 1.

“On April 21, the Minister in the Prime Minister Department (Law and Parliamentary Affairs) (Liew Vui Keong) had issued a statement explicating the decision fo the impending relocation,” he added, when speaking in the State Legislative Assembly this evening.

The decision to relocate the Office of the Registrar of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak from Kuching to Kota Kinabalu, See emphasised, was made in contradiction with Article 121(4) of the Federal Constitution which provides that for that to happen, “the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall act on the advice of the Prime Minister, who shall consult the Chief Ministers of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and the Chief Judge of the High Court”.

“The august House puts on record its strong displeasure and protest against the capricious decision,” he said.

He said the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) thus resolved to call upon the Sarawak government to stand firm against the relocation and 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.

Chong Chieng Jen (DAP-Kota Sentosa), who seconded the motion, also urged Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to stand firm on the decision with strong reasons to keep the registry in Sarawak in the event that the whole process of relocation be reconsidered again in the future.

He informed the august House that the federal government had put the relocation on hold upon realising that the move was done without compliance with the Constitution, and confirmation by the Chief Minister that there was no consultation.

Muara Tuang assemblyman Datuk Idris Buang and Gedong assemblyman Datuk Naroden Majais also expressed support for the motion. — DayakDaily