Abang Johari (centre) flanked by Tengku Maimun (on his right) and Desmond poses with other dignitaries at the Opening of Legal Year (OLY) 2020 Gala Dinner. Photo: Ramidi Subari

KUCHING: Sarawak welcomes the proposed reforms in the justice system, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He pointed out that the reforms mooted by Chief Justice Tan Sri Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, was timely in order to cleanse the justice system of the ‘bad apples.’

“In politics, politicians are sometimes, its own worst enemies. So too I suspect, lawyers in
the legal profession. “Though these ‘bad apples’ form a miniscule percentage of this honourable profession, even a small crack in a dam, if not dealt with immediately can cause its collapse,” he said when officiating at the Legal New Year dinner at a hotel here on Friday.

Abang Johari added that he felt encouraged by the reform proposed by the chief justice, in particular measures to ensure the rules are not abused for the purpose of delaying cases, and the administration of justice.

“As the saying goes, justice delayed is justice denied,” he said.

Abang Johari (centre) flanked by Tengku Maimun (on his right) and Desmond poses with other dignitaries at the Opening of Legal Year (OLY) 2020 Gala Dinner. Photo: Ramidi Subari

He also said that among the obstacles to access of justice in Sarawak and Sabah was its lack of infrastructure, due to the states’ geographical landscape.

“The Sarawak government is now primarily relying on its own resources and strategies to ensure that these problems are given the utmost priority and attention.

“We are committed to improving both our physical infrastructures as well as digital and other forms of communications.”

The chief minister also assured that Sarawak would exploit its own resources to create more revenue for the state.

He thanked Attorney General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas for the AGC’s role in the recently concluded Malaysia Agreement 1963 Steering Committee.

“Although more needs to be done, with the attorney general’s support, I hope, indeed, I know,
that what we have set out to do will be achieved,” he said.

Present were Justice Tengku Maimun; Court of Appeal (COA) president Datuk Rohana Yusuf; Tommy; Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima David Wong Dak Wah; Advocates’ Association of Sarawak branch chairman Desmond Sahathevan; and Law, StateFederal Relations and Project Monitoring Assistant Minister Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali.