Speakers' Corner: Occasional contributions from readers, which do not necessarily reflect the views of Sarawak Report but may be published at the discretion of the site.

Unconstitutional; as Usual

Prime Minster Najib is once again perverting the Constitution, this time in the matter of judicial appointments.

Section 122 (A) allows the Agong, acting on the advice of the Chief Justice, to appoint an “additional judge” of the Federal Court. No obscurity here. Least of all that one cannot advise the appointment of oneself. This arises with Najib’s attempts, aided and abetted by Raus CJ., to appoint the latter as an “additional judge” under S,122.

This absurd and demeaning proceeding is due to Inche Raus reaching the statutory retirement age (as prescribed in the Constitution) but not wanting, for reasons gone into below, to retire.

It is clear from the Constitution that any “additional judge” so appointed cannot be the Chief Justice but that clearly does not suit either Najib or Inche Raus, the latter seemingly being determined to cling on to a position to which he has no constitutional right, having attained the prescribed retirement age. That provision of the Constitution apparently does not suit either Najib or Raus so both are ignoring it.

Quite apart from the provisions of the Constitution on this matter; which are clear and unarguable, the matter of motives needs to be addressed. There are clearly more than one, though the obvious first is personal pride, or greed or self-delusion. Does Inche Raus think that he is the only person fit to be Chief Justice? Or does he covet the salary, perquisites and position so much that he is ready to connive in a perversion of the law to retain them? Or that he sincerely believes that he is the sole fit person to fill the office? In which case he should consult an alienist as early as possible

Or is it the case that, for whatever reasons, Najib needs to keep Inche Raus in place? If the latter is an upright and impartial judge what would be the point of perverting the Constitution solely to retain him? Does Najib believe that no other existing judge is fit to hold this office? And, if so, what prevents him from sharing this opinion with the electorate with whose support he is, for the moment, Prime Minister?

Or are there other reasons for Najib’s refusal to let Inche Raus go? Reasons which he is not prepared to share with the electorate who put him in place? Whatever such reasons could be they cannot be other than discreditable, and, most probably illegal. To someone who has so spectacularly and publicly broken, defied and manipulated the laws of Malaysia one more such perversion may appear both desirable and permissible. With Najib everything is possible.

To revert to Inche Raus. As a lawyer he can have no difficulty in interpreting the Constitution which, in this instance, is crystal clear. He cannot remain as Chief Justice and that is that. He should not, as a matter of personal honour, seek to remain in the Federal Court for three more years even as an ordinary “additional” judge of that Court with no powers to shield the criminal Prime Minister.

One cannot touch filth without being contaminated. Time to wash hands Inche Raus, and retire with a reputation, if not untainted, still in existence.

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