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Perlis Court History

The historical moments of the development of the Judicial Administration in Perlis began at the end of the nineteenth century during the reign of the Third King of Perlis, namely Almarhum Tuanku Syed Safi Ibni Almarhum Syed Alwi Jamalullail who held the throne between 1897 and 1906.



Since 1897 there have been two Courts in Perlis known as the Big Court and the Small Court. Furthermore, during the reign of the Fourth King of Perlis between 1905 and 1943, we can see that the position of Judge that has existed continues in line with the development in the judicial field from era to era.


During the Japanese rule, a Chief Justice was appointed but upon the return of the British rule, the position of Chief Judge was replaced by the position of Chief Magistrate in addition to the position of Magistrate.


According to W.W. Skeat in his book "Journal of the Malayan Branch Royal Asiatic Society", Volume XXVI part 4, December 1953 on pages 134 and 135 he visited Perlis on January 2, 1900 described:-


"... the main street consisted of sixty-two houses, mostly Chinese shops of brick, with eight Malay shops of plank and palm-thatch. Next I came to an open space, where the Court House stood, with the inevitable European cannon (described as Dutch, but probably British) in front of it. It was a brick and plank building, of two storeys, with a tiled roof and quite new in appearace. Some way off, a little back from the main road, stood a plank and palm-thatched Malays mosque. Further down this same road were the Raja's palm-thatched stables, with a pair of horses and carriage, recent importations from Penang, vivible in the yard."

In the modern era, the Magistrate's Court has been in existence since 1958 where at that time this Court used to be located in a building located at the intersection of Jalan Indera Kayangan and Jalan Barrack. This building which is located behind the Kangar Police Station (now the Traffic Branch) is made mostly of boards. The location of the Court here was only until 1962 when the new Court building was built on Jalan Hospital which is on the current site. The opening was officiated by D.Y.M.M. Tuanku Syed Putra Ibni Al Marhum Syed Hassan Jamalullail, King and Lord of the State of Perlis.




This new building which has a central room as an Administration section with 2 courtrooms, the left wing is used as the Magistrate's Court and the right wing is used as the Sessions Court and the High Court. At that time the Magistrate's Court functioned full-time and the Sessions Court sat only 2 times a month until a Yang Di Pertua (President) for the Sessions Court was appointed permanently in 1979 to function full-time. However, the High Court in the same year was still sitting irregularly and only tried criminal cases by using the Sessions Court when holding its sessions. All his civil cases are still being heard at the Alor Setar High Court.


The Sessions Court building (on the right wing) was first detected to have cracks in early 1986. During that period the Magistrate's Chamber and the Magistrate's Court Trial Hall were used together as the Magistrate's Court, the Sessions Court, and the High Court. In this situation of deprivation Y.A.A. The Chief Justice at that time, Tun Dato Seri Haji Abdul Hamid bin Hj. Omar himself has tried to get new buildings, especially the High Court and Sessions Court buildings. On the kindness of the State Government, especially the Menteri Besar of Perlis at that time, Y.A.B. Dr. Abdul Hamid Pawanteh, the vacated Social Welfare building in the adjacent area was allowed to be renovated and used as a Sessions Court which was turned into a Magistrate's Court II.

The construction of the High Court building began in November 1989 on the site of the Sessions Court building which suffered from cracks. Based on the cooperation and efforts of all parties, especially the Malaysian Ministry of Justice, the High Court building in the State of Perlis was finally built at the end of 1990. This building houses a complete High Court and Sessions Court and is adjacent to the Magistrate's Court Building.


With the completion of the High Court building and the placement of a Judge with officers and support staff, the Kangar High Court began functioning and sitting full-time in early 1991. With this, all civil and criminal cases for the State of Perlis along with its administrative affairs are fully handled in Kangar. Cases from the State of Perlis that have not yet been resolved at the Alor Setar High Court are transferred to the Kangar High Court for further action.


Now the Courts in the State of Perlis consist of the High Court, the Sessions Court and a Magistrate's Court that functions full-time for the entire State of Perlis Indera Kayangan.


The High Court has a Judicial Commissioner who is Y.A. Dr Arik Sanusi bin Yeop Johari and a Senior Assistant Registrar namely Mr Ahmad Hamdi Bin Mustaffar. While the Magistrate's Court is administered by Puan Siti Nor Hasliza binti Md Ali and Puan Kamaliza binti Md Zain. Session Court II is administered by Tuan Musyiri bin Peet and Session Court I is fully administered by a Senior Judge who is also the Director of the Perlis State Court, Mrs. Norsalha binti Dato' Hamzah.