Sarawak PKR chairman Baru Bian said today he will endorse any recommendations for Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum to be the next Chief Justice.
Tun Arifin Zakaria’s term as the head of the Federal Court ends in March next year after it was extended from October 1 this year.
“Aside from the fact that Malanjum has the seniority by virtue of his 10-year stint in his present position, he is a visionary who will be able to bring about much-needed reform to the judiciary,” Baru, a senior lawyer, said.
Baru, who is also the Ba’Kelalan assemblyman, said Malanjum, a Sabahan, is eminently qualified to be the Chief Justice, pointing to his sound and reasoned judgments.
“I have the confidence that he will carry out the duties of his office without fear or favour and will uphold the principles of justice unconditionally,” he said, adding that in the 53 years since the formation of Malaysia, no Sarawakian or Sabahan judge has held the top judicial position.
He said if for any reason that Malanjum is sidelined, the people of Sabah and Sarawak will understandably feel slighted.
“It will be another indication that we are the second cousins, and not equal partners in the Federation of Malaysia as was envisioned by our forefathers,” he said.
Baru said opening the top ranks of the judiciary is a timely opportunity for rapprochement between the two Borneo states and Peninsular Malaysia, not because of the need to make amends, but because Malanjum is the most suitable candidate.
“It will be a start to Sarawak and Sabah taking our rightful place in Malaysia,” he said.
Source : SULOK TAWIE@The Malay Mail Online