KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 — Council of Eminent Persons chairman Tun Daim Zainuddin has allegedly called for the resignations of Chief Justice Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif and Court of Appeal president Justice Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin, former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram has claimed.
Gopal told Malaysiakini that it was “an open secret” this had occurred during a meeting at Daim’s private office, but it is currently unclear when the actual meeting in question took place.
Gopal said that Daim should not have done so as it was unconstitutional for anyone other than the prime minister to summon the head of the judiciary.
“Daim is not the prime minister, and even if he had been asked by the prime minister to do what he did, he should have declined and left it to the attorney general, the prime minister and the Cabinet to handle this.
“After all, we do not want to return to the old days when there was no respect for the separation of powers and the due observance of constitutional requirements,” Sri Ram was quoted as saying in the news report.
He said that by attending the meeting, Md Raus and Zulkefli had only made matters worse.
“With respect, had they believed that their continued occupation of their respective office was justified, they should have dignifiedly declined the invitation,” Gopal said.
Md Raus and Zulkefli were appointed as CJ and Court of Appeal president respectively on April 1 last year. They were scheduled to retire on August 3 and September 27 of that year respectively upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 66 and six months.
Their contract extensions are the subject of a judicial review application by the Malaysian Bar, which said the move was in violation of the Federal Constitution.
Gopal urged the two judges to resign immediately, and for the Attorney General to inform the courts that the government no longer supported their appointments as constitutional.