The ninth Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak, Tan Sri David Wong Dak Wah, officially retired on 20th February 2020.
Judges, officers and staff at the Kota Kinabalu Court Complex gathered at the court’s lobby and lined up all the way from the lift to the entrance door waiting to bid farwell to His Lordship Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima David Wong Dak Wah on the last day of his work.
His Lordship was accompanied by his wife Puan Sri Datin Seri Panglima Janet Wong Ying Kin. As His Lordship came out from the elevator from his Office at level 5, the music was turned on and he started to shake hands and some gave hugs to bid farewell.
The moment became overwhelming as some started to get tearful eyes and the slow melody ‘I did it my way’ had also put some more weight to it as His Lordship was shedding tears looking at all of them before exiting the door to his vehicle.
As His Lordship walked to his car, he paused at the driver’s side and made one last wave before entering the car and drove away from the court compound.
His Lordship was appointed as the Chief Judge for Sabah and Sarawak on July 11, 2018.
He read law at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia and also obtained a B.Com (majoring in accountancy) from the same university.
From 1978 to 1979, Wong was attached to a Public Accounting Firm in Sydney as a qualified auditor.
In 1979 he was admitted as a barrister of the New South Wales Supreme Court in Australia while in 1980, he was admitted to the Sabah Bar and practised as an advocate and solicitor in Sandakan until 1992.
Then, he continued practising in Sydney until 1996 and returned to Sandakan in 1997 and practised as an advocate and solicitor in Messrs Peter Lo & Co until 2005.
He was appointed as a Judicial Commissioner of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak in Kuching on Aug 29, 2005 and elevated as a Judge of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak with effect from April 11, 2007.
On Jan 8, 2013, he was elevated as a Judge of the Court of Appeal followed by the Federal Court of Malaysia April 27, 2018.
One of his significant achievements was introducing the A.I in Data Sentencing for Criminal Cases at the Subordinate Courts in Sabah and Sarawak (for possession of drugs and rape cases) being the first of such system introduced in Malaysia, and Southeast Asia region.