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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Extension of CJ 'not a smart move', says former top judge

The move to appoint Chief Justice Md Raus Sharif and Court of Appeal president Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin as additional judges in order to extend their tenures was not a smart one to make, said former chief justice Abdul Hamid Mohamad.
He said the move "is not good for the Malaysian government's image, not good for the image of the judiciary, and not good for the integrity of the judges involved".
In a blog posting today, Hamid said the extension gave the impression of political meddling by the government.
"This was not a smart move. This made it look as though the Malaysian government, in the current political climate, wants them to retain their positions," he added.
"It would be difficult for the government to reject public perception that the government is making preparations to have a pro-government court if there are any cases against it in that time period
"It actually shows too much political meddling such as what happened during the Dr Mahathir Mohamad era, which remains a black mark on the history of Malaysia in general, and the judiciary specifically."
On July 7, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) issued a statement that Md Raus would continue to hold the post of the chief justice for another three years, beginning Aug 4, after being appointed as an additional judge.
Both judges were supposed to retire later this year upon reaching the age of 66 and six months.

Hamid had previously said the move was unconstitutional.
In his blog today, the former chief justice said the move had sullied the image of the judiciary, which had been improving over the past decade.
As for Raus and Zulkfefli, Hamid said it appeared as though they had compromised their independence by holding on to the positions.
"That it happened at the end of their careers where they were previously seen as independent, is very disappointing," he said.
Hamid's full posting in his blog can be found here.- Mkini

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