Call on BN Sabah and Sarawak Ministers and MPs to take a common and united stand with Pakatan Harapan MPs for the appointment of Richard Malanjum as the new Chief Justice of Malaysia
I said at the DAP Miri’s “Bangkit Miri, Undi Harapan” 14th General Election Preparation dinner on Friday night that the unconstitutional extension of the tenures of Tan Sri Rau Sharif and Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin as Chief Justice and Court of Appeal President on August 3 and Sept. 27 respectively will be detrimental to the cause of Malaysian nation building.
The by-passing of the opportunity for the appointment of the first Chief Justice from Sabah/Sarawak will be like “manna from heaven” and exploited by those in Sabah and Sarawak attacking the Federal Government in Putrajaya as too Peninsular-centric and unable to take full account of the vision of Malaysia as a federation where the rights and interests of Sabah and Sarawak are given full respect and recognition.
This unconstitutional extension of the tenures of Raus and Zulkefli is totally indefensible, undermining not only the sanctity and integrity of the Malaysian Constitution and the vision of Malaysia as a federation where Sabah and Sarawak are fully integrated and not treated as step-brothers, it would also undermine the promotional opportunities and prospects of at least eight Federal Court judges, including three women!
As the most glaring injustice of the unconstitutional extension of the tenures of Raus and Zulkefli is the by-passing of the opportunity to appoint the first Chief Justice from Sabah and Sarawak in the person of Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, I call on all Barisan Nasional Ministers and MPs from Sabah and Sarawak to take a common and united stand with Pakatan Harapan MPs for the appointment of Richard Malanjum as the new Chief Justice of Malaysia.
Let not the by-passing of the opportunity for the appointment of the first Chief Justice of Malaysia from Sabah and Sarawak become a real-life example of how Sabah and Sarawak are treated as step-children in the Malaysian scheme of things.
This would be most unfortunate setback for Malaysian nation-building, especially in the welding of Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region or even politics into one Malaysian people.
Malanjum is most qualified from every aspect to become the new Chief Justice of Malaysia on August 3.
Malanjum is in fact the most senior Federal Court judge today, even more senior than both Raus and Zulkefli, both of whom were appointed to the Federal Court in 2011.
Malanjum was elevated to the Court of Appeal and Federal Court in 2005 and in 2006 was appointed as the Chief Judge of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak at the age of 52.
Malanjum should not be by-passed in the appointment as the Chief Justice on August 3 as it will be a serious affront to the vision and concept of Malaysia as a nation for all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region, as well as a major blot in the forthcoming celebrations for the 60th National Day anniversary on August 31 and the 54th Malaysia Day anniversary on Sept. 16.
Both Rauf and Zulkefli must step forward to resolve and end the constitutional crisis threatening the sanctity and integrity of the Malaysian Constitution and undermining the vision and integrity of the Malaysian Federation by declining the unconstitutional extension of their two top judicial posts in the country.