Monday, February 17

Sabah, Sarawak Chief Justice Wong retires next month, no word on successor yet

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David Wong Dak Wah

KUCHING: The beginning of the Legal Year for Sabah and Sarawak in 2020 will be the last for its Chief Justice Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima David Wong Dak Wah.

Wong, 66, in his speech at the opening ceremony here today said he would leave the judiciary next month.

During a press conference later, Wong kept mum when asked about his successor.

According to Chief Justice of Malaysia Tan Sri Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, a swearing-in ceremony will be held in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah on Feb 19.

She too, declined to reveal Wong’s replacement when pressed by members of the media.

Wong was appointed judicial commissioner on Sept 29, 2005 at the Kuching High Court.

He was promoted to the post of the judge on April 22, 2007 before being transferred to the Kota Kinabalu High Court in January of 2009.

Wong was promoted as a judge of the Court of Appeal from January 2013 to April 2018, when he was promoted as a Federal Court judge.

He was appointed as the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak two months later, replacing Malanjum who was appointed the Chief Justice of Malaysia.

Wong was born on Aug 20, 1953, in Sandakan.

He graduated from New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, with a Bachelor of Commerce (majoring in accountancy) in 1976.

One year later he obtained his Bachelor of Law degree.

Meanwhile, the State Attorney-General (AG) Chambers is asking the Judiciary’s Rules Committee to consider reviewing provisions relating to applications for Judicial Review (JR).

The state AG Datuk Talat Mahmood Abdul Rashid said in his speech at the opening ceremony that the review involves the Order 53, Rule 3 on the requirement that the AG be notified of any JR application.

“Although the local practice in Sarawak of most advocates is to also notify the state AG where the application relates to State Laws or interest, it would lend clarity to the matter if it is provided that where the application relate relate to state laws and interest, that the State AG be notified.”

Unlike in the Peninsular Malaysia, legal advice on matters of state interests in Sabah and Sarawak are within the purview of the state AGs.

There are no officers of the Federal AG Chamber in these two states, he said.