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Saturday, August 5, 2017

Raus’ inability to see conflict of interest astounding



YOURSAY | ‘Even if in good faith, the perception that the decision was made to please...’
Gerard Lourdesamy: The newly-reappointed chief justice Md Raus Sharif has conceded that his reappointment is “unprecedented” but said that it is still constitutional. Last month, the Prime Minister's Office had announced the extension of the tenures of Justice Raus and Court of Appeal president Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin for a period of three and two years respectively.
That is Raus' point of view. And he is entitled to his interpretation of the constitution.
But in the event there is a legal challenge to the constitutionality of his and Zulkefli's appointments after being made additional judges, both should give iron-clad guarantees that they will not get involved directly or indirectly in the case and let the Chief Judge of Malaya decide on the composition of the bench in the Federal Court that will hear the challenge.
However, his remark that the government needed his services is alarming. The late Abdul Hamid Omar said something similar when then lord president Salleh Abbas was sacked in 1988.
Even if the prime minister had indicated a willingness to re-appoint him, Raus could have declined. It is not as if the appointment was forced on him by the government. But by his own admission, there seems to be undue influence and interference by the government in the judicial appointments. That is a danger to the constitution and the rule of law.
Anonymous #44199885: Unfortunately, this is no simple matter. The constitution is unclear on whether the chief justice and Court of Appeal president can be appointed as additional judges, and in such circumstances where the appointment is being challenged as being unconstitutional, the proper course to take is to refuse the appointment.
Not doing so will result in the empanelled judges being put in a position where they are in a conflict of interest, as the matter under challenge is one concerning their superior. Even if they in all good conscience rule in your favour, it will not escape the perception that the decision was made to please the head of the judiciary and their brother.
A crisis of confidence must always be avoided at all costs. No prejudice would have occurred had you refused the appointment, as there are plenty of qualified people to assume your position and responsibility. Declaring your opinion so publicly leaves room for doubt.
Aries46: Our judiciary has sunk to a new low, in which the chief judge is reduced to defending his own appointment.
Md Raus seems not to realize that the sole reason for the hordes of protests against his extension is their concern for the hard-pressed litigants that seek justice, and the integrity of the legal system, which stands gravely compromised by his acceptance of this controversial appointment by the executive.
6th Generation Immigrant: Md Raus, aren't you sworn to preserve, protect and defend the federal constitution instead of pushing through "unprecedented" exercises? Isn't that stretching the constitution, only to benefit the very few instead of the majority in this country of ours?
Surely if you say that justice is done for your case (the retention in office), the rakyat can also postulate that justice is not seen as being done. This is the unfinished debate and a resolution is firstly very necessary.
You should have taken the case to court yourself to get the correct interpretation of that clause in the Federal constitution and not come out with “unprecedented” thoughts to brush people off.
Speaking sense: His argument misses the point. Not only should we expect justice to be done; it is also important that justice be seen to be done.
The next time he is called to make judgments involving those he is beholden to in his "appointment", who would really have any confidence that justice will be done? His inability to recognize or acknowledge the potential conflict of interest here is astounding.
Wira: How can the appointment be constitutional, when those who understand English read the relevant article in the constitution in the spirit it is written in, and think that it is unconstitutional? Every time people like you stretch the interpretation, the spirit of our constitution suffers.
You are a learned judge. It's a shame you chose to accept the appointment without a constitutional amendment to the relevant wordings to make your appointment beyond reproach. You are already more than 66 years old. Why can't you just retire gracefully?
The Three Kingdom: When the Malaysian Bar vehemently objected to your extension, you went ahead and accepted your appointment when you should have turned it down.
Do you think the rakyat trust you more, or the Bar? Why could you not have recommended Richard Malanjun instead, since you are already 67 years old?
Vijay47: Raus Shariff, you can talk all you want about "unprecedented and constitutional" but the oath that you had taken earlier at the start of your original appointment as chief judge would have been to defend the constitution, and this pledge stays with you until you are carried out feet first.

This means that you would not allow yourself to be involved in anything, however arguable its validity may be, that would lower the dignity and sanctity of the judiciary and bring it shame. You have failed miserably. - Mkini

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