‘There won’t be another Malanjum for 100 years’

Richard MalanjumKOTA KINABALU: Sabah may have to wait 100 years to produce another judge as gifted as Richard Malanjum, according to the president of the Sabah Council of Datuks, Claudius Roman.

Claudius Roman
Claudius Roman

Speaking to FMT, Roman said the council, at its meeting on Wednesday, unanimously agreed that Malanjum was the most qualified member of the Malaysian judiciary for the post of chief justice.

The council is made up of serving and former senior leaders of the public and private sectors, political organisations and NGOs.

“We Sabahans are proud of Tan Sri Richard Malanjum,” said Roman. “He’s worked hard and steadily risen in the judicial service.

“We’ve seen many talents coming from our side of the country in many facets of life. But in the judicial service? No. There’s never been one like Malanjum.

“Not appointing Malanjum as the chief justice would be a waste of great talent, wisdom and experience. We’re not sure that Sabah can produce another Malanjum in the next 100 years.”

Malanjum is the most senior of current Federal Court judges. He is also the Chief Judge of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak. He retires in October next year.

Current chief Justice Md Raus Sharif will reach his mandatory retirement age this Aug 4, but the government recently decided to extend his tenure by three years. Many quarters have criticised the decision, saying the appointment was unconstitutional and sidelined Malanjum, who is said to be more senior than Raus.

Roman said the Sabah Council of Datuks supported Malanjum “not just because he’s a Sabahan and we Sabahans want to see our citizens recognised, but because he deserves the seat on merit too.”

“We accede to the fact that the appointment of the chief justice is a royal prerogative based on the recommendation of the government,” he said.

“However, all council members during our meeting on Wednesday agreed that Malanjum is the best person to be the next chief justice.”

 

‘CJ’s tenure extension proof of discrimination against Sabah, Sarawak’