KOTA KINABALU: Sabah and Sarawak’s judicial history from pre-independence until today is a tale forgotten, but the information can now be found at the newly launched Judicial Museum inside the Kota Kinabalu Court building here.
Chief Justice for Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri David Wong Dak Wah said this museum, the first of its kind in Malaysia, was launched to tell the two states’ history that was overlooked since the formation of the country.
“This museum could remind the people on the evolution of our judiciary corresponding in time over economic, social and political conditions, ” he said at the launch on Tuesday (Feb 18).
Among the artifacts in the museum is the Royal Coat of Arms - previously kept safely in Sandakan - which can only be seen at the Sabah and Sarawak Judicial Museum.
“Between 1881 and 1882, the North Borneo Chartered Company was given the concession to administer and to govern North Borneo (now Sabah), ” Wong said.
He said it was only in 1888 that English law was introduced through the establishment of courts, the judges’ appointment and the enactment of the laws, hence the display of the Royal Coat of Arms in courts.
He said after the formation of Malaysia on Sept 16,1963, all courts replaced the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom with the Coat of Arms of Malaysia as the courts no longer represent the British monarch.
Wong said this museum will not only act as the preservation of legal artifacts and legal history but it will also enrich the lives of society by equipping them with judicial knowledge and promoting social justice.
“Social justice promotes a resilient and strong society therefore the significance of this museum to society is immeasurable, ” he said.
He said if people understood their history better, they will also lead better lives with love for each other and for the country.
Other items that are on display in the museum are the Embossing seal which was used in the 1960s, books of laws from decades ago, a judicial Wall of Fame of past and present Chief Justices, and old court typewriters.
The museum is set up to resemble the modern-day courtroom.
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