KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 — Datuk Seri Azalina Othman today slammed those who were politicising the appointments of Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif as chief justice and Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin as Court of Appeal president.
The minister in the prime minister’s department said that Raus and Zulkefli’s appointments as additional judges in the Federal Court were in accordance to Article 122(1A) of the Federal Constitution.
“I therefore urge all parties to stop the polemics in this issue and ask that all to respect the appointments of these two additional judges that had also received the royal nod by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong,” she said in a statement.
Azalina pointed that appointing additional judges at the Federal Court was nothing new.
She cited the reappointment of former Federal Court judge Tan Sri Jeffrey Tan Kok Hwa in 2016 for two years as a point in case.
“In 1965, Tan Sri S Chelvasingam Macintyre was also reappointed as additional judge at the Federal Court,” she said.
Azalina said the Federal Constitution does not forbid for any additional Federal Court judges to be reappointed.
The Malaysian Bar recently slammed the appointments of Raus and Zulkefli because the two were beyond their age limit as they are due to retire in August and September, respectively.
Its president George Varughese said these appointments were unconstitutional and unprecedented.
On April 1, 2017, Md Raus, was appointed as the 14th Chief Justice of Malaysia, replacing Tun Arifin Zakaria who retired after reaching the age of 66 years and six months, on March 31, 2017.
The retirement age for judges is 66.
The services of Arifin as Chief Justice and Md Raus as Court of Appeal President had earlier been extended for six months.