Relocation of High Court Registry to Sabah unconstitutional: CMO
By:Natasha Jee
Sarawak Flag

KUCHING: The Sarawak government strongly objects to the relocation of the Office of the Registrar of the Sabah and Sarawak High Court from Kuching to Kota Kinabalu effective May 1 this year.

A statement from the Office of the Chief Minister yesterday said the decision did not comply with the rule of law and is unconstitutional.

It said that such consultation was a requirement under Article 121(4) of the Federal Constitution.

It said the Sarawak government was not consulted on the relocation.

“With reference to the letter by the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court on the relocation of the Registry for the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak, and the press statement by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Kong it is confirmed that there was no consultation by the Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad with the Chief Minister of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg on the matter, as mandatorily required under Article 121 (4) of the Federal Constitution,” the statement said.

It said that although the Sarawak government accepted that the final decision in the matter rested with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the advice of the Prime Minister, it is imperative that the fundamental constitutional process of consultation be adhered to.

“This unconstitutional act, if not checked, will in future, have wider repercussions on the rights of Sarawak under the Constitution,” added the statement.

On Sunday, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong said in Sandakan, that the Office of the Registrar of the Sabah and Sarawak High Court will be relocated from Kuching to Kota Kinabalu.

Liew had said the decision was made by Chief Justice Tan Sri Richard Malanjum and senior judges a few months ago and it was approved by Dr Mahathir and consented to by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

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