KUCHING, June 13 — Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii has called on the Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government to recommend Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum to succeed Tun Md Raus Sharif as Malaysia’s chief justice (CJ).
He said his stand is consistent with the views expressed by the PH leaders from Sabah and Sarawak, even before the 14th general election on May 9 on the appointment of the CJ.
“Such appointment is not without merits as Malanjum is currently the most senior Federal Court judge with much judicial experience, even more senior than Md Raus,” Dr Yii said when responding on the resignation of Md Raus as the top judge.
He said Malanjum has also brought in a lot of improvements and good initiatives including the initiation of the computerisation of Sabah and Sarawak courts in 2006.
“This has benefitted many people including members of the judiciary, the Bar, parties in trials and the public as well,” he stressed.
He said Malanjum’s close involvement in the development and implementation of the project led to the creation of the Integrated Court Solution, which won the United Nations World Summit Award 2009 in the E-Government and Institutions Category.
“We are confident that he will indeed carry out the duties of his office without fear or favour and will uphold the principles of justice unconditionally,” Dr Yii said, adding that there is no question about Malanjum’s capability to head the Malaysian judiciary.
He also noted that for the past 55 years since the formation of Malaysia, no Sarawakian or Sabahan judge had held the position of CJ.
“Now that there are different and growing constitutional arguments regarding our rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963, I believe the time is ripe for an appointment of a Chief Justice from the Borneo States,” he added.
Earlier today, the Chief Registrar’s Office announced the resignations of both Raus and President of the Court of Appeal Tan Dr Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin, both effective on July 31.
Their resignation letters were sent on June 7 to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, who granted royal assent on June 8 and with the royal assent notified through a June 11 letter from the palace.
Both Raus and Zulkefli had held their positions as Chief Justice and President of the Court of Appeal since April 1, 2017, with their term for these positions controversially extended past their constitutional retirement age under the previous administration.
Under the July 7, 2017 announcement by the Prime Minister’s Office then under Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Raus’s three-year extended term would have been due to end on August 4, 2020, while Zulkefli’s two-year extended term would have been due to end September 28, 2019.