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Yong: Sabah AG Chambers need a total revamp

Kota Kinabalu, Sunday, 19 May 2024

A total revamp of the Sabah Attorney General Chambers is called for in view of FOUR pressing constitutional issues facing Sabah.

  1. The Sulu claim which the Madrid Court has ordered that Malaysia be properly summoned (ie that the original summons to the Stampa arbitration was not done properly by procedure). The same Madrid Court had also ordered that the proceedings to appoint a new arbitrator be restarted. In other words, although Malaysia’s Law Minister Azalina has beaten Spanish Arbitrator Gonzalez Stampa, Azalina did not beat the Sulu case. (Refer to the full statement of Azalina, and para marked yellow). So now, if the Sulu lawyers wish to do so, the entire arbitration process will restart all over again. Is our Sabah AG ready? Or does Sabah leave everything to the Federal AG? Don’t forget that a serious mistake in acknowledging the Sulu claim of the 1878 pajak was made by the then Federal AG based on wrong historical facts.
  2. The Territorial Sea Act 2012, which the Federal Government’s rebuttal to Terengganu shows that the Federal Government is similarly denying Sabah’s territorial sea limits under the British Order in Council 1954 and the Federal Constitution in defining the territory of the Malaysia federation. This constitutional case has huge economic and financial implications to Sabah. This case will need top legal minds and strategists.
  3. The unconstitutional interference in the administration of villages in Sabah by the Federal government in arbitrarily forming Jawatankuasa Desa Madani (JKDM) along party political lines. Village administration is the third and lowest TIER of government in our Malaysian federal system. This third tier of government is the exclusive jurisdiction of the Sabah Government. What is going to be the legal advice of the AG to the Sabah government?
  4. The fiasco of the handling of the Judicial Review case over Sabah’s 40% net revenue entitlement under Articles 112C and 112D of the Federal constitution. The judicial review application by the Sabah Law Society (SLS) in June 2022 had received the support of the Sabah Government at the time (refer to Sabah Government press statements of 9 June 2022 attached). Surely, the Sabah AG Chambers have always been aware of the Sabah Government’s support of the SLS application for judicial review.

AG, where were you?

My known fact is that nobody from the AG Chambers was with lawyer Tengku Datuk Fuad Ahmad at the Court of Appeal. Where was the Sabah Attorney General? Why was no lawyer from the SG Chambers assigned to be present at the Court of Appeal on 16 May 2024? Where was everyone?
As the Sabah Attorney General said in her statement today, “the Sabah AG Chambers have been actively participating in all matters (relating to the 40% net revenue) together with the Sabah Ministry of Finance and the Federal government”

So, why was no lawyer from the Sabah AG Chambers present with lawyer Tengku Fuad at the Court of Appeal to firmly state the stand of the Sabah government on the 40% net revenue claim?

Datuk Yong Teck Lee
Ex-Chief Minister,
A lawyer by profession,
Nominated Assemblyman