Chong submits parliamentary motion calling for appointment of new Chief Justice

Chong (right) and his special assistant Dr Kelvin Yii holding copies of the motion faxed to the Parliament today.


KUCHING: Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen has submitted a motion for the upcoming Parliament calling on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to appoint Tan Sri Panglima Richard Malanjum as the Chief Justice of the Federal Court on Aug 3.

Chong, who is also Kota Sentosa assemblyman, said the motion had been faxed to the Dewan Rakyat secretary today for it to be tabled in the upcoming sitting from July 24 to Aug 10.

In his motion, Chong stated that the current Chief Justice of the Federal Court Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif is supposed to retire from the post of the Chief Justice of the Federal Court on Aug 3, but his tenure as Federal Court judge had been extended by another three years.

“The extension of Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif’s tenure as federal Court judge by another three years has spark off a constitutional crisis of the judiciary and possible constitutional challenge to the continued appointed of Md Raus as the Chief Justice of the Federal Court,” he read his motion in a press conference here today.

Chong, who is also state Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman, said amongst the present bench of Federal Court judges, there is one who is more than qualified for the post of the Chief Justice of the Federal Court, after the supposed the retirement date of Md Raus on Aug 3, such candidate being Malanjum.

He added that Malanjum, who having been appointed the Chief Judge of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak in 2006, is the most senior Federal Court judge, even more senior than Md Rais who was only appointed to the Federal Court in 2009.

Chong pointed out that despite the fact that Malaysia was formed by the Federation of Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners, there has never been a Sarawakian or Sabahan appointed as the Chief Justice of the federal Court/Lord President in all the past 54 years, which gives rise to the notion that a Sarawakian or Sabahan will never be appointed as the highest judicial post of the country.

“On consideration of meritocracy and the principle of equal partners between the West Malaysia and Sabah and Sarawak, and to avoid constitutional crisis of having an unconstitutional Chief Justice of the federal Court, it is time that a non-Malayan be appointed to the highest judicial position in the country.”

Chong, during the press conference also called upon the Sarawak and Sabah state Barisan Nasional coalition to vindicate the lost rights of the two states by making sure that on Aug 3, for the first time in the 54 years of the nation’s history, a judge from the Borneo states is appointed to the highest judicial position.

“If Sabah and Sarawak were to be regarded as equal partners in Malaysia, then at least for once, there should be a Chief Justice appointed from one of the two states. Furthermore, Tan Sri Richard Malanjum is currently the most senior and thus most qualified Federal Court judge.”

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