Hornbill Unleashed

July 10, 2017

After Raus’ appointment, Bar says Malaysia can’t afford another constitutional debacle

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

Malaysian Bar President George Varughese called the appointments 'blatantly unconstitutional'. — Picture by Saw Siow FengThe Malaysian Bar has slammed the appointments of Tan Sri Raus Sharif as chief justice and Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin as Court of Appeal president  beyond their age limit as not only unconstitutional, but unprecedented.

The Bar said Malaysia cannot afford another constitutional debacle after the 1988 crisis, and has urged the two to instead decline the appointments in order to uphold the Federal Constitution.

“Recalling the constitutional crisis that had adversely affected the Judiciary in 1988, which caused repercussions that resounded for decades thereafter, Malaysia — and the Judiciary in particular — can ill afford another constitutional debacle that would negatively impact upon the Judiciary,” its president George Varughese said in a statement.

“When the current Chief Justice and the President of the Court of Appeal took their oaths of judicial office, they pledged to uphold the Federal Constitution. They should now fulfil their vows by declining the appointments.

“It would be deeply regrettable and unfair to unnecessarily embroil Their Lordships in controversy at this stage of their careers,” he added.

On Friday, the Prime Minister’s Office said the appointment of the Chief Justice and the President of Court of Appeal, who are appointees as additional judges in the Federal Court, is pursuant to Article 122(1A) of the Federal Constitution.

It said pursuant to Article 122B(1) of the Federal Constitution, His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, on the advice of the Prime Minister and after consultation with the Conference of Rulers convened on May 24 and 25 this year, is pleased to announce both appointments.

According to George, said announcement was questionable, and suggested the dearth of suitable candidates among current members of the Federal Court, which the Bar does not think is true.

“This perception will result in a widespread and severe erosion of public confidence in the Judiciary and its independence, and raise a question in the public mind as to why the appointments are being made at all, and in this manner,” he said.

On April 1, 2017, Md Raus, was appointed as the 14th Chief Justice of Malaysia, replacing Tun Arifin Zakaria who retired after reaching the age of 66 years and six months, on March 31, 2017.

The retirement age for judges is 66.

The services of Arifin as Chief Justice and Md Raus as Court of Appeal President had earlier been extended for six months.

“Regardless of whether they are the most suitable persons for the positions, their tenures will come to an end on 3 August 2017 and 27 September 2017, respectively,” George said.

“In appointing their successors, the scheme stipulated in the Federal Constitution must be abided by. To do otherwise would potentially allow them to remain in judicial office indefinitely.”

Source : The Malay Mail Online


Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: