GEORGE TOWN: The High Court building here will be temporarily closed for restoration work due to structural defects in some sections.
Chief Justice Tan Sri Richard Malanjum has instructed the administration of the state court to set up hearing rooms and its administrative office in other court buildings in Penang.
Malanjum and Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Zaharah Ibrahim inspected the High Court building last Friday.
On Monday, The Star highlighted the structural defects of the building, with concerned lawyers calling for quick remedial work.
A statement issued yesterday by the Office of the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court said the CJ gave the order after having inspected the building himself and taking into account the safety and comfort of the judges and court personnel.
“We will make an announcement about the transfer procedure to all parties concerned soon,” the statement said.
There are at least seven other court buildings in the state, which include a Syariah Court building in Jalan Batu Gantung, and court complexes in Balik Pulau, Butterworth and Bukit Mertajam.
The Star report stated that warning signs were prevalent in sections of the court building two years ago after concerns were first raised.
A closer look at the building’s exterior also showed signs of the plaster breaking off although no major cracks were spotted.
Completed in 1809 with more extensions built over the course of its 209 years, the Penang High Court, a Palladian-style building, is the oldest courthouse in Malaysia and the birthplace of the country’s Judiciary.
Located across the street from St George’s Church, it is an integral part of George Town’s prized heritage vista.