High Courts (Malaysia)

High Court of Malaya/
High Court of Sabah and Sarawak
Mahkamah Tinggi Malaya/
Mahkamah Tinggi Sabah dan Sarawak
Established 1957
Country  Malaysia
Composition method Royal appointment with the advice of the Prime Minister
Authorized by Federal Constitution
Decisions are appealed to Court of Appeals of Malaysia
Judge term length Compulsory retirement at age 66
No. of positions Peninsular Malaysia: 60 (including 16 vacancies)
Sabah and Sarawak: 13 (including 5 vacancies)
Website www.kehakiman.gov.my
Chief Judge of the High Court of Malaya
Currently Zaharah Ibrahim
Since 11 July 2018
Chief Judge of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak
Currently David Wong Dak Wah
Since 11 July 2018

The High Courts in Malaysia are the third-highest courts in the hierarchy of courts, after the Federal Court and the Court of Appeal. Article 121 of the Constitution of Malaysia provides that there shall be two High Courts of co-ordinate jurisdiction—the High Court in Malaya and the High Court in Sabah and Sarawak (before 1994, the High Court in Borneo). Before 1969, the High Court in Singapore was also part of the Malaysian courts system (see Law of Singapore).

The High Court in Malaya has its principal registry in Kuala Lumpur, with other registries to be found in all states in peninsular Malaysia, while the High Court in Sabah and Sarawak has its principal registry in Kuching, with other registries elsewhere in Sabah and Sarawak. There are in total 22 High Court registries across all 13 states in Malaysia.[1] The two High Courts also travel on circuit to other smaller towns.

The two High Courts, the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court are classified as superior courts, while the Magistrates' Courts and the Sessions Courts are classified as the subordinate courts. The High Courts function both as a court of original jurisdiction as well as an appellate court, and are each headed by a Chief Judge (before 1994, Chief Justice). The Chief Judges of Malaya and Sabah and Sarawak are the third and fourth highest positions in Malaysian judiciary after the Chief Justice of the Federal Court (before 1994, the Lord President of the Federal Court) and the President of the Court of Appeal.[2]

High Court registries in Malaysia

All High Court registries and the subordinate courts found in Peninsular Malaysia including the courts in the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya are under the jurisdiction of the High Court in Malaya. Similarly, all courts found in East Malaysia are under the jurisdiction of the High Court in Sabah and Sarawak including the courts in the Federal Territory of Labuan.

List of Chief Justices and Chief Judges


Chief Justice of the Federation of Malaya (1957–1963)

Chief Justices of Malaysia (1963–present)

Chief Judges of Malaya (1994–present)


Chief Justice of Singapore (1963–1969 (as part of Malaysia, 1963–1965))

Borneo (North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak)

Chief Justices of North Borneo (to 1951)

  • 1934–1941 Charles Frederick Cunningham Macaskie
  • 1942–1945 Japanese occupation

Chief Justices of Sarawak (1930 to 1951)

  • 1930–1939 Thomas J.L. Stirling Boyd
  • 1942–1945 Japanese occupation
  • 1946–1951 Robert Yorke Hedges

Chief Justices of the Combined Judiciary of Sarawak, North Borneo and Brunei (1951–1963)

Chief Justices of Borneo (1963–1994)

  • 1963–1965: Sir William Campbell Wylie
  • 1965–1968: Philip Ernest Housden Pike
  • 1968–1973: Ismail Khan
  • 1974–1991: Lee Hun Hoe
  • 1992–1994: Mohamad Jemuri Serjan

Chief Judges of Sabah and Sarawak (1994–present)

See also


  1. "List of court addresses". Judiciary of Malaysia. Archived from the original on 23 October 2007. Retrieved 30 January 2008.
  2. "Operation of the court". Judiciary of Malaysia. Archived from the original on 9 July 2011. Retrieved 30 January 2008.
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