I welcome and congratulate the recent appointment of the Chief Justice, President of the Court of Appeal and Chief Judge of Malaya. But considering their respective age of 66, 65 and 65 are they about to retire too?
Therefore there is an urgency of amending the Judges retirement age.
I urge the present government to give priority and table a bill to amend matters pertaining to the retirement age of the judges at the current parliament sitting.
There is an urgency in this matter for two reasons: firstly due to the legal debate over the validity of previous appointment and resignation of Raus Sharif as the Chief Justice and Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin as the President of the Court of Appeal respectively, there is a need to a finality. Though there is a related ongoing suit at the Federal Court which is yet to be decided, there is a concern it may be rendered academic.
Secondly considering the recent appointments of the 3 top posts namely the Chief Justice, President of the Court of Appeal and Chief Judge of Malaya, one would realised that these 3 top judges are also approaching the age of retirement.
In Malaysia, under Article 125(1) of the Federal Constitution, superior court judges enjoy the terms of service to retire at the age of 66 years and can be extended by six month by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. This is an archaic provision and should be amended accordingly.
Hence the approximate tenure of a year or less will be clearly insufficient for them to achieve anything positively for the judiciary. By allowing the amendment to increase the retirement age would also allow a smooth transition in the future. In addition it is also to protect the judiciary from any political criticism and possible constitutional crisis.
I am aware for such amendment, the Parliament require a two third majority, hence the current MPs should vote according to their conscience if such amendment is to be tabled.