KUCHING: The Sarawak government was not consulted on 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 of Sarawak said that such consultation was a requirement under Article 121(4) of the Federal Constitution.

There was no consultation by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg on the relocation of the office, it said.

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.

“The Sarawak government strongly objects to this non-compliance with the Rule of Law and views this relocation as unconstitutional,” said the statement in response to Liew’s statement and the letter by the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court on the relocation.

The statement 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.

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.

He said the matter should not be politicised as the transfer was made upon the request of the Sabah and Sarawak High Court. – Bernama