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Saturday, July 15, 2017

'Raus' extension a missed opportunity to have Borneo CJ'



The controversial extension of chief justice Md Raus Sharif's term has been criticised for depriving the nation a chance to have a Borneo chief judge occupy the post.
“The extension of the tenures of Raus and Court of Appeal president Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin are not only unconstitutional, but would affect the promotional opportunities and prospects of at least eight Federal Court judges, including three women.
“But the most glaring injustice of the unconstitutional extensions will be the denial of the opportunity of Richard Malanjum, as the first chief judge of Sabah and Sarawak, to be appointed as chief justice of Malaysia.
“Malanjum is in fact the most senior Federal Court judge in the country, more senior than both Raus and Zulkefli,” said Gelang Patah MP Lim Kit Siang in a speech for an event in Miri last night.
“Malanjum is a more senior Federal Court judge than Raus and Zulkefli by six years, as both Raus and Zulkefli were only elevated as Federal Court judges in September 2011,” he said.
Lim said as the nation celebrates its 54th Malaysia Day marking the formation of Malaysia on September 16, appointing a chief justice from Borneo would have brought unity to East and West Malaysia.
“It would be a great and important factor contributing to the closer unity and cohesion of the Malaysian Federation if a Sabahan or Sarawakian who is chief judge of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak, could be elevated as chief justice of Malaysia in the sixth decade of the Federation, as otherwise, it would take another few decades before this could be achieved,” he said.
He added the extensions have also denied the country from having its first woman chief justice.

The government's extensions of Raus and Zulkefli have stirred controversy over the legality of the move since the duo have reached the retirement age of 66.
They are only eligible to a six-month extension.
Lim, who is Gelang Patah MP, said the controversial move also gives the impression that the existing judges in the Federal Court are not ready to be elevated to higher judicial positions.
He urged the duo to resolve the matter by declining their “unconstitutional” extensions, “especially as both of them have sworn to uphold the constitution in their oaths of office”.- Mkini

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