KUALA LUMPUR, July 26 — Fourteen federal lawmakers and former de facto law Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim today pushed for the incumbent Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum to be appointed the next Chief Justice.
In a joint statement signed after a roundtable discussion in Parliament earlier today, the MPs from DAP, Amanah and Parti Warisan Sabah urged the government to annul the extension of Tan Sri Raus Sharif’s tenure as Chief Justice.
Raus and Tan Sri Zulkefli Makinudin both were appointed as additional judges in the Federal Court, enabling them to extend their tenure as Chief Justice and Court of Appeal president respectively beyond the mandatory retirement age of 66.
Raus’ tenure was extended by three years from August 4 while Zulkefli’s term was extended by two years from September 28.
“We call upon the Prime Minister to present a proper and constitutionally correct advice to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to annul the extension of tenure of Tan Sri Md Raus bin Sharif and Tan Sri Zulkefli bin Ahmad Makinudin and to appoint Tan Sri Richard Malanjum to be the Chief Justice on 3rd August, 2017,” they said.
”The Prime Minister’s advice to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to extend the tenures of Tan Sri Md Raus bin Sharif and Tan Sri Zulkefli bin Ahmad Makinudin is not only unconstitutional, but also in breach of the spirit of the Malaysia Agreement,” they added.
The MPs said that no judge from Sabah and Sarawak had been made Chief Justice before, and a sense of discrimination is “obvious” in not appointing Malanjum as Chief Justice.
“Such unconstitutional extension of tenure will deprive at least eight Federal Court judges, including three women judges, their prospect of promotion,” they said.
“Amongst those deprived of the prospect of promotion, is the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak, Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Richard Malanjum who is currently the most senior Federal Court Judge, even more senior than Tan Sri Md Raus bin Sharif,” they added.
The roundtable was organised by DAP fedral lawmakers Chong Chieng Jen (Bandar Kuching) and Wong Tien Fatt (Sandakan).
DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang was also present during the roundtable.