Is Raus prepared to allow his peers in Federal Court to pronounce on the constitutionality of his re-appointment as Chief Justice?
The self-serving justification by Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif on his controversial re-appointment as Chief Justice through the unconstitutional backdoor of being appointed as “additional judge” under Article 122(1A) of the Constitutiion must have nagged many Malaysians in the last few days, as it does not seem to be right and proper.
Raus said his reappointment as Chief Justice was “unprecedented” but constitutional.
He said there is always a first time for everything, and that when something happens for the first time, there is bound to be many differences in opinions.
Raus sad that despite these differences in opinions, in the end, it is up to the court to decide on the constitutionality of the appointment.
“Lawyers always disagree. It is nothing strange for lawyers to disagree on the interpretation of the constitution.
“It happens every day in court,” he said.
Raus’ justification is to smug, self-serving and wrong that it was all right to have different opinions whether his re-appointment as Chief Justice is constitutional or not.
Why can’t we have a situation where all jurists and lawyers as well as informed Malaysians are in unanimity about its consitutionality?
The appointment or re-appointment of the top judicial post in the land should be met with full if not near unanimity as to its constitutionality by the whole body of juristic, legal and informed public opinion in the country, or the reputation, independence and impartiality of the judiciary would be the greatest casualties.
What more, when in the reappointment of Raus as Chief Justice under circumstances where the weight of juristic, legal and informed public opinion is of the view that Raus’ re-appointment as Chief Justice for the next three years is unconstitutional – as seen by the large array of jurists and lawyers who are of this view involving a former Chief Justice, a former Federal Court judge, a former Attorney-General, a former de facto Law Minister and he Malaysian Bar through an extraordinary general meeting on this specific issue.
Raus acceptance of his unconstitutional re-appointment as Chief Justice is particularly unacceptable when it is done through a most devious process which affected the promotion opportunities and prospects of at least eight Federal Court judges, including three women, and most importantly, the denial of the opportunity of Tan Sri Richard Malanjum as the first Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak to be appointed as Chief Justice of Malaysia.
If not for the unconstitutional re-appointment of Raus as Chief Justice and Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin as Court of Appeal President, Malaysia may in next few years see a woman appointed to both the two top judicial posts of the country – Chief Justice and Court of Appeal President – from the three women Federal Court judges in the country, Tan Sri Zainum Ali, Tan Sri Zaharah binte Ibrahim (both Johor Bahru born) and Datuk Aziah binti Ali (Alor Setar born).
Let Raus declare whether he is prepared to allow his peers in Federal Court to pronounce on the constitutionality of his re-appointment as Chief Justice, and taking active measures in this direction?