Kit Siang: Only Raus can save Malaysia from a constitutional crisis


PETALING JAYA: Weighing in on the government’s decision to retain two top judges in their administrative posts, DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang says Raus Sharif is the only person who can save the country from a constitutional crisis.

“One man can save the country although we are at the precipice of a major and ugly constitutional crisis – Raus himself.

“Until the Federal Court has pronounced on the constitutionality of the extension of his tenure as chief justice, Raus should not allow himself to be sworn in as chief justice for another three years,” the Gelang Patah MP said in a statement today.

Pointing out that Raus’ tenure as chief justice ended yesterday, Lim repeated his call for the judge to await the Federal Court decision on the matter and recuse himself from all court cases involving Prime Minister Najib Razak.

The appointment of Raus and Court of Appeal president Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin as additional judges to remain in their posts has been a contentious issue since it was announced last month.

Raus’ tenure is for three years from today, while Zulkefli will remain in his current administrative post for two years from Sept 28.

Following its extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on the matter yesterday, the Malaysian Bar said it would file a suit to challenge the appointments, with Bar president George Varughese saying legal action would be taken “very soon”.

At the EGM, members had voted with a resounding majority that the appointments of Raus and Zulkefli were unconstitutional.

The Bar also decided that it would not extend invitations to or attend social events organised by the bench and vice versa.

Varughese said this was a form of protest to show the Bar’s discontentment with the appointments, although its members were not personally against Raus and Zulkefli.

On Wednesday, meanwhile, Pakatan Harapan leaders comprising Lim, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Mujahid Yusuf Rawa submitted a memorandum to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V, seeking his intervention to stop the reappointments of Raus and Zulkefli.