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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

East Msian's Malanjun should be next CJ based on seniority and merit with departure of duo

East Malaysia leaders hope to see the first ever Chief Justice appointed from their region following the impending departure of Md Raus Sharif from the position and Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin as the Court of Appeal president.

One such leader is Sarawak-based United People's Party (UPP) George Lo, who believes current Chief Judge of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak, Richard Malanjum, should be considered for the position of Chief Justice.

"The reason is that Malanjum is the most senior judge in the Federal Court and he is fully entitled to the appointment based on seniority and merit.

"He will be the first East Malaysian to be appointed to the top post in the judiciary and it will send a strong signal that the new federal government is serious about promotions based on seniority and merit," Lo said.

UPP was a BN-friendly party and a splinter of SUPP, which yesterday exited from the BN coalition.

With the departure of Raus and Zulkefli, the next senior ranking judiciary members are Malanjum and Chief Judge of the High Court of Malaya Ahmad Maarop.

Lo said questions would be raised among East Malaysians if Malanjum was not selected.

"If Malanjum is bypassed for the post despite his seniority and undoubted capability, then East Malaysians are entitled to question the impartiality of judicial appointments under the new administration.

"We, therefore call for the elevation of Malanjum to be the next Chief Justice of Malaysia," he said.

The chief registrar of the Federal Court said Raus and Zulkefli had on May 15 met with Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to convey their intention to resign.

The registrar said they tendered their resignations to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on June 7 and the monarch had accepted their departure.

It added that the resignations will take effect on July 31.

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