PUTRAJAYA: The appointment of Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif and Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin as ‘Additional Judge’ of the Federal Court is in accordance with the Federal Constitution, says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (PMD), Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.
She said the two judges’ appointments were in line with Clause (1A) Article 122 of the Federal Constitution, of which the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had absolute power over, on the advice of the Chief Justice.
In this regard, Tun Arifin Zakaria had advised or recommended Md Raus and Zulkefli’s appointments to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on March 30 this year when he was still Chief Justice.
“The Federal Constitution also does not prevent any additional judge of the Federal Court from continuing to hold any position,” she said in a statement distributed during the monthly assembly of the PMD’s Legal Affairs Division here today.
She also said the appointment of additional judges for the Federal Court was nothing new.
The same practice was carried out last year where former Federal Court judge Tan Sri Jeffrey Tan Kok Hwa was re-appointed for two years; in 1965, former Federal Court judge Tan Sri S Chelvasingam Maclntytre was re-appointed as an additional judge of the Federal Court.
Azalina said all parties should stop polemicising the issue.
“I also believe that the expertise and experience they possess are very much needed by the country’s judiciary,” she said of Md Raus and Zulkefli, adding that all parties should respect the appointments consented to by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Meanwhile, she said parties that viewed the appointments made by the Chief Justice as contradictory to the Federal Constitution could bring the matter to court in accordance with existing law.
The Prime Minister’s Office on July 7 announced that Md Raus would hold the post of Chief Justice for a three-year period from Aug 4 after being appointed as an additional judge of the Federal Court on the same date.
It also announced that Zulkefli, who was appointed as an additional judge of the Federal Court for a two-year period beginning Sept 28, would hold the post of Court of Appeal president from the same date. – Bernama