KK needs new court building, says SLA
The courthouse in Kota Kinabalu requires a new building to enable it to keep up with the workload in recent times, according to the Sabah Law Association (SLA). Its President, Datuk John Sikayun, said that in spite of the crammed working conditions at the courts here, the cases in Kota Kinabalu are disposed of within a reasonable time frame. He said SLA is happy with the cooperation given by the courts in Sabah, especially in Kota Kinabalu, despite the congested working environment where in some instances two support staff have to share one table. Some staff even have to place tables on corridors due to the space limitation while parts of the court lock-up, parking space and store room have been converted into office space and filing rooms, said Sikayun yesterday. “SLA hopes that the authorities concerned would consider a new building for the KK courts in keeping up with the workload in recent times,” he said in a statement. The SLA meanwhile applauds the Federal Court for taking to task those responsible for the protracted and inordinate delay in the disposal of a wrongful dismissal case of a Government servant which took 26 years and six months. Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Zaki Tun Azmi, who presided the hearing of the case with two Federal Court Judges, also called on the authorities to consider implementing time frames in their rules to avoid a delay in investigations of cases. Sikayun said SLA supports the idea of a time frame for the completion of investigations. He noted that in respect of court cases, although there is no time period fixed by law for their disposal, SLA is of the view that every effort must be made to adhere to a self-imposed reasonable timeline. “Insofar as Sabah and Sarawak Courts are concerned, we are fortunate that the Computerised Case Management (CMS) has been implemented. “With this system, protracted delays and instances of overlooked cases have become a thing of the past as the system would alert the Court Officials whenever that happens,” said Sikayun. Under the CMS, Sikayun said, cases are electronically registered and managed from the point of filing at the counter up to the disposal and appeal stages. “The target time frame of disposal of civil cases is about 12 to 18 months from date of filing and for criminal cases it is about six to 12 months,” he said.