KUALA LUMPUR: There is a glass ceiling stopping Sabah and Sarawak judges from holding the nation’s top judiciary post, said Pakatan Harapan parliamentary leaders, who all appeared to share the same observation.
Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen said they came to this conclusion as the chief justice post had, for the past five decades, gone only to West Malaysian judges.
“The element of discrimination against Sabah and Sarawak was made more obvious in the case of denying Richard Malanjum the (chief justice) post, with the unconstitutional extension of Md Raus Sharif.”
Chong, who is Bandar Kuching MP, was speaking during a roundtable discussion on the extension of Raus’ chief justice tenure in the Parliament complex here today.To emphasise his “glass ceiling” point, Chong spoke about his uncle, the late Chong Siew Fai, who was the former chief judge for Sabah and Sarawak.
“That’s the maximum he could go,” he said.
He also labelled Raus’ tenure extension and the one involving the president of Court of Appeal, Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin, “unconstitutional”. This is because both have surpassed the age of 66, he added.
On top of that, the extensions would stifle the career growth of at least eight Federal Court judges, including that of Malanjum, who is even more senior than Raus, said Chong.
“Such discrimination is not in line with the spirit of equal partners among Sabah, Sarawak and the Federation of Malaya under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
“At this juncture, when we are about to celebrate the 54th year of Malaysia Day, it will serve as a meaningful reminder to all about the long-ignored ‘equal partners’ spirit under the MA63.”