Ramkarpal says Council of Eminent Persons overstepped boundaries

Tun Daim Zainuddin has come under fire for summoning Raus and Zulkefli to meet with the council. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Tun Daim Zainuddin has come under fire for summoning Raus and Zulkefli to meet with the council. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, June 13 — Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh chided the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) for demanding the resignation of the country’s top two judges.

In a statement issued today, Ramkarpal said the CEP’s call for the resignation of Chief Justice (CJ) Tun Md Raus Sharif and President of the Court of Appeal (PCA) Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin was ill-advised and contrary to the rule of law.

“It is a basic hallmark of any democracy that the executive does not interfere in the affairs of the judiciary.

“There is nothing wrong with criticising the appointment of the CJ and PCA, however, it is quite another matter to summon them and demand their resignations, this is plainly wrong,” Ramkarpal said in a statement today.

Md Raus and Zulkefli officially tendered their resignation from their respective positions today, with their services ending officially on July 31.  

“The CEP is appointed by the government and its actions are ostensibly the actions of the government,” he said.

This comes as Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad defended the CEP’s actions in summoning in the two top judges, saying the council needed to speak to a lot of people to get a full picture of the country’s current state of affairs.

Ramkarpal then pointed out the mode to see out the removal of judges was already set within the Federal Constitution.

“This must be adhered to at all times in accordance with the rule of law.”

It has been reported that CEP chairman Tun Daim Zainuddin had recently come under fire for summoning Raus and Zulkefli to meet with the council.

Dr Mahathir had reportedly said the meeting with the top judges was to advise them on vacating their roles, not to demand their resignations, after the new government felt their employment extension was done out of political motives.

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