Brunei Sultan appoints Steven Chong as chief justice

Brunei’s new chief justice for the Supreme Court, Steven Chong Wan Oon, rose through the ranks after starting as a Subordinate Court magistrate in 1984. On the right is Kifrawi Kifli.

PETALING JAYA: The Sultan of Brunei, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, has appointed Steven Chong Wan Oon as chief justice of the Supreme Court, with effect from June 30.

Chong replaced Kifrawi Kifli, whose term had come to an end after serving in the position for nine years.

According to Brunei’s Scoop news agency, Chong began his career as a magistrate in the Subordinate Court in 1984, before rising through the ranks to eventually take a seat on the High Court bench in 2001.

He received his initial education at St George’s School, Brunei, and later obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree at the Dorset Institute of Higher Education in the UK.

A year later, he qualified as a barrister of Lincoln’s Inn, through the Inns of Court School of Law.

In 2013, Sultan Hassanal had announced the implementation of hudud (Islamic criminal punishment) in the oil-rich Bornean nation, including amputation of the hand for convicted thieves and stoning for adultery.

Prior to that, the country had two legal systems, featuring civil courts based on British laws and shariah hearings for private and family cases.