Stay decision to move High Court registry from Kuching to KK, says Chong

Sarawak PH chairman Chong Chieng Jen. (Bernama pic)

KUCHING: Sarawak Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Chong Chieng Jen called on the judiciary to put on hold the decision to relocate the Registry of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak from Kuching to Kota Kinabalu.

Chong, who is also the deputy domestic trade and consumer affairs minister and Stampin MP, said the decision to relocate the registry, if true, should be withdrawn.

“There is no ambiguity on this provision in the Federal Constitution, which is the supreme law of the country, and the words are clear and unambiguous,” he said in a statement today.

He noted that Article 121(4) of the constitution states: “In determining where the principal registry of the High Court in Sabah and Sarawak is to be, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall act on the advice of the prime minister, who shall consult the chief ministers of the states of Sabah and Sarawak and the chief judge of the High Court.”

“These three persons – the chief ministers of Sabah and Sarawak and chief judge of the High Court – shall be consulted by the prime minister before he proceeds to advise the Agong,” he said.

Yesterday, Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg issued a statement that the decision to relocate the registry was made without any consultation between him and Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Chong said he and Sarawak PH secretary Alan Ling had discussed the matter with de facto law minister Liew Vui Keong on the unconstitutionality of the decision and had forwarded Sarawak PH’s view of the matter.