Malanjum can practise in S’wak, Wong pending
Published on: Wednesday, September 16, 2020
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KUCHING: The High Court ruled that Parti Bumi Kenyalang president Voon Lee Shan has no locus standi to intervene in the application by former chief justice Richard Malanjum (pic) to practise law in Sarawak.

Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim, who presided over the case, said the decision was made after the Advocates Association of Sarawak and the Attorney-General’s Chambers had no objection to it.

He also instructed Voon to pay cost of RM5,000.

Malanjum and former chief judge of Sabah and Sarawak David Wong Dak Wah, who are Sabahans, were reported to have earlier applied to practise law in Sarawak.

However, Abang Iskandar said the decision for Wong to practise law in Sarawak would be made on Oct 8 as the latter’s “connection to Sarawak” under Section 2(2)(a), (b) or (c) of the Advocates Ordinance 1953 had been questioned.

Under the law, one is deemed to have Sarawak connections only if he was born in Sarawak, has been ordinarily resident in Sarawak for a continuous period of five years or more, or satisfies the chief justice that he was, at the time when the question of whether he has Sarawak connections is relevant, domiciled in Sarawak.

Malanjum and Wong, who followed the proceedings via video conferencing, were represented by Chong Siew Chiang.

Voon was represented by Lim Heng Choo.

Last month, Voon had filed a court application to prevent Malanjum and Wong from practising law in Sarawak, saying that it would open the floodgates for peninsula lawyers to come to the state if these applications were allowed.

“It is in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) that lawyers outside Sarawak are restricted from practising law in Sarawak unless they can meet the requirements of the law under the Sarawak Advocates Ordinance 1953,” he said.

“If this right can be taken away, there is nothing more Sarawak can protect under MA63. The autonomy on immigration rights can also be diluted or removed.”


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