Chief Judge of Sabah, Sarawak retires next month

Sulok Tawie
Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri David Wong Dak Wah speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya January 10, 2020. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

KUCHING, Jan 17 — Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri David Wong Dak Wah will officially retire next month from the post upon reaching the mandatory age of 66.

“A person (senior judge) from Sarawak or Sabah will succeed me,” Wong said when reporters asked who will be his successor.

Chief Justice Tan Sri Tengku Maimum Tuan Mat said Wong’s successor has been identified, but declined to say more.

“Wong will clock out on February 19 in Kota Kinabalu,” she said.

Wong, 66, will officially retire as the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak on February 19.

Earlier in his speech at the opening of the Legal Year 2020, Wong said he will soon be embarking on a new phase of life.

“I think they call it retirement,” he said, to the laughter of the judges, court officials and lawyers present.

He said his speech at the opening of the Legal Year will be his last as the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak.

He said steering the High Court of Sarawak into the digital era has been one of the most rewarding experiences in his judicial career.

Wong was appointed a judicial commissioner on September 29, 2005 at the High Court in Kuching and was promoted to the post of the judge on April 22, 2007.

He was transferred to the High Court in Kota Kinabalu in January 2009.

Wong was promoted as a judge of the Court of Appeal in January 2013 until 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 Tan Sri Richard Malanjum who was appointed the Chief Justice of Malaysia.

Wong, born on August 20, 1953, in Sandakan, graduated from New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, with a Bachelor of Commerce (majoring in accountancy) in 1976 and a Bachelor of Laws from the same university one year later.

* A previous version of this story contained an error which has since been corrected.

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