Change the law on Sabah, Sarawak appeal cases, says lawyer

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Federal Court ruling in native customary rights case shows the need for judges who have Bornean experience, says Yogeswaran Subramaniam FMTNews

The Federal Court ruled that the native custom of ‘pemakai menoa’ and ‘pulau galau’ has no force of law.

He told FMT that, in the Iban appeal, the majority decision was that there had been no government action to legally oblige the chief justice to appoint judges with sufficient Bornean judicial experience to hear appeals coming from the territories. They sought a review of the decision, contending that the composition of the bench violated Paragraph 26 of the Inter-Governmental Committee Report 1962 read with Article 8 of the Malaysia Agreement.

The dissenting opinion was given by the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak, David Wong Dak Wah, who held that the appeals should be reheard before another panel of judges, one of whom must be a judge with experience in Bornean judicial matters.

Source: Law Daily Report (


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