CM pledges to create better connectivity, infrastructure for Sarawakians seeking legal aid

Posted on : 18 Jan 2020  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Abang Johari receives a souvenir from Desmond (second left), witnessed by Amelati (left) at the dinner. Photo by Roy Emmor

KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg promises to provide better connectivity for its people to enable easier and faster access to legal aid and services.

He said that one of the obstacles of access to justice is the physical landscape, particularly for a state as vast as Sarawak and Sabah, as the lack of infrastructure poses a huge challenge both for the people and the courts.

With this in mind, the state government now seeks to primarily rely on its own resources and strategies to ensure that these problems are now given the utmost priority and attention, he said.

“As the saying goes, justice delayed is justice denied.

“Let me give the reassurance that the state government is committed to improving both our physical infrastructures as well as digital and other forms of communications, in accordance with its own template and exploiting its own powers to create more revenue to the state based on what has been promised and agreed to when Sarawak agreed to form Malaysia with its partners, Sabah and then Malaya,” he said at the ‘Opening of the Sarawak and Sabah Legal Year’ gala dinner held at a hotel here last night.

Similarly, he fully supports the proposals for the reform of the Rules of Court which includes measures to ensure the rules are not abused for the purpose of delaying cases, and in turn, the administering of justice.

The proposal was outlined by Chief Justice Tan Sri Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat at the opening of the National Colloquium on Access to Justice on Thursday.

Speaking on the issue of separation of powers, he said the doctrine of separation of powers forms the foundation of our system of government and democracy.

He said if one organ is allowed to encroach upon the powers and jurisdiction of another, the entire system will break down.

Thus, the judiciary’s role in upholding the principle of separation of powers is of the utmost importance.

“The public conforms to the decisions of the judiciary, because they respect the concept of judicial power and the judges who exercises such power. Therefore, the trust and confidence of the people in the judicial system to deliver impartial justice comprises the very foundation of the judiciary.”

Earlier, he congratulated Tengku Maimun for being the first woman to hold the post of Chief Justice and Datuk Rohana Yusuf on her appointment as the Court of Appeal’s president.

He believed that their appointment is a testament to the progress on empowerment of women in Malaysia, and will become a norm in the future.

The Sarawak and Sabah Legal Year was opened with a procession from the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Building to the Kuching Court Complex which was participated by over 1,000 lawmakers yesterday morning.

Present were organising chairperson Desmond Sahathevan and High Court of Sabah and Sarawak registrar Amelati Parnell.