Hornbill Unleashed

August 3, 2017

Harapan leaders urge Agong’s intervention in judicial appointments

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

Pakatan Harapan today petitioned the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V to refer the government’s decision to extend tenures of the country’s chief justice and the Court of Appeal president to the Federal Court.

Speaking to reporters outside Istana Negara, Harapan chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the king is the only person accorded discretionary powers to do so under Article 130 of the Federal Constitution.

“Therefore all of us representing the four parties in Harapan, through this letter, urge the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to exercise his discretionary powers and refer the matter to the Federal Court for a decision on whether the re-appointments are valid or otherwise,” said Mahathir who read from a joint letter signed by PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Parti Amanah Negara deputy president Mujahid Yusuf Rawa and DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang.

In the letter, it was also stated that the appointments shall be made by the Agong on the advice of the prime minister.

“So the Agong has a right to refer the matter to be decided by the Federal Court before it comes into effect,” he said.

Harapan leaders expressed concern that the judicial appointments could be unconstitutional.

“If this matter is not resolved, it would create a judicial crisis because all hearings or decisions made after Aug 4 may be declared invalid,” Mahathir said, citing the date the appointments would come into effect.

Arriving separately, the leaders were driven into the palace at about 3pm and came out around 30 minutes later.

Mujahid and Lim got into Wan Azizah’s car while Mahathir was alone in his Silver Jaguar.

Around 20 Harapan MPs and leaders, who mostly came from Parliament, were also waiting outside Gate 3 of the palace.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on July 7 announced that Chief Justice Md Raus Sharif and Court of Appeal president Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin have been appointed as additional judges and that they will retain their existing offices for another three and two years respectively.

The PMO said the appointments was based on the recommendation of then chief justice Arifin Zakaria who retired on March 31.

However, critics have also questioned whether Arifin had the authority to recommend additional judges for periods that had past his retirement.

Responding to the decision, the Malaysian Bar has said that it will be debating two motions during its extraordinary general meeting (EGM) this Thursday, including that the appointments were unconstitutional.

Source : Malaysiakini by Alyaa Alhadjri



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