Opposition mulls legal challenge over High Court move

Piasau assemblyman Sebastian Ting speaking to the press at SUPP headquarters today. (Bernama pic)

KUCHING: A Sarawak opposition politician may take legal action against the federal government for moving the registry of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak without  obtaining the consent of the Sarawak chief minister.

Piasau assemblyman Sebastian Ting said he was also considering a suit against de facto law minister Liew Vui Keong and Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the one responsible for making the recommendation to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

He said the suits would be taken out in order to safeguard Sarawak as well as the Federal Constitution. “Otherwise, he said there might be other breaches done in future, especially those that are not in favour of Sarawak.”

Ting said Liew and the federal Attorney General had failed to advise the prime minister and King on the need to consult the Sarawak Chief Minister.

“No matter how hard he (Liew) might want to explain his failure, he still cannot get past the fact that Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg was never consulted on this relocation decision,” said Ting, who is secretary-general of the Sarawak United People’s Party.

He urged Liew to apologise to Abang Johari as well as the people in Sarawak, and perhaps the senior judges of the judiciary as well.

He also expressed disappointment with with federal minister Batu Bian and deputy minister Chong Chieng Jen for failing to safeguard Sarawak’s rights despite their promises to do so when they were first sworn in as ministers.

A circular leaked online said the registry of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak would be relocated from Kuching to Kota Kinabalu from May 1.

Ting said the decision to relocate the Registry was made in March by the top four judges of the country (the Chief Justice, president of the Court of Appeal, and Chief Judges of the two High Courts). He noted that two of them were from Sabah, while Liew himself is also from Sabah.