I want to send my deepest congratulations to Tan Sri Richard Malanjum for his appointment as the Chief Justice of Malaysia by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V. This definitely has created history as Malanjum will be the first Malaysian from Sabah/Sarawak to head the Malaysian judiciary in half a century.
As expressed before, we are confident that Malanjum will indeed carry out the duties of his office without fear or favour and will uphold the principles of justice unconditionally. There is no question about his capability to head the Malaysian judiciary.
The appointment of the Chief Justice is governed by Article 122B of the Constitution of Malaysia whereby the Yang di-Pertuan Agong appoints the Chief Justice on the advice of the Prime Minister.
Since before the election, we in Pakatan Harapan Sarawak has been pushing for his appointment based on his merits and also experience as the most senior Federal Court judge, even more senior than the present Chief Justice Md Raus Sharif who is supposed to be retired on Aug 3, 2017 but for the unconstitutional extension of his tenure for another three years on the advice of then Prime Minister Najib Razak.
His appointment signals a recognition of not only his merits, sound and reasoned judgments, but as well as his efforts and vision to bring about much-needed reform to the judiciary. On top of that, it is also a recognition of our rightful standing within the Federation, something that wasn’t afforded under the previous Barisan Nasional administration.
Now that there are different and growing constitutional arguments regarding our rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), the appointment of a Tan Sri Richard Melanjum, a Chief Justice from the Borneo states, could be a positive step forward for Sarawak and Sabah especially in taking our rightful place in Malaysia and promote greater national integration based on what was agreed upon.