By BORNEOTODAY REPORTERS
KOTA KINABALU: Two DAP Members of Parliament, one each from Sabah and Sarawak, are calling upon all MPs from the two Borneo states to support the proposal naming Richard Malanjum as Chief Justice in place of Mohd Raus Sharif.
The duo said it is high time that a Sabahan or Sarawakian to hold highest office in the administration of federation.
Stephen Wong, the DAP Sabah Chairman and Chong Chieng Jen, his Sarawak counterpart, said they believed Malanjum is the most qualified person to hold the office.
“It is time to have a new Chief Justice, the highest position in judicial branch of the country, and Malanjum fills that role not because he is a Sabahan, but he is the most experienced, professional and has the calibre, at this present moment,” the two DAP lawmakers told a press conference at Parliament on Monday.
A statement issued by the duo was sent to BorneoToday.
In the joint statement by Wong and Chong, they cited Malanjum’s seniority over Raus as well as allegations of a constitutional breach in the extension of Raus’ tenure to support their proposal.
Malanjum is currently the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak, while Raus had been president of the Court of Appeal prior to his appointment.
“Since the formation of Malaysia in 1963, there has never been a judge from the states of Sabah and Sarawak to be appointed as the Chief Justice of the Federal Court or the then Lord President,” the two wrote in the statement.
Aside from the lack of Chief Justices from either state, they also noted that Malanjum was elevated to the Federal Court in 2006, preceding Raus by about three years.
Md Raus was appointed as successor to Tun Arifin Zakaria in April and recently had his tenure extended by three years on the Prime Minister’s advice and with the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
They then questioned if judges from Borneo were being discriminated or a “glass ceiling”, and urged MPs from both states to attend a roundtable meeting on Wednesday to discuss the proposal.
The two Parliamentarians had earlier met up with Pandikar Amin, the Dewan Rakyat Speaker, to inform him on their proposal to move in Parliament a motion to get Malanjum appointed as Chief Justice.