Embattled Top Judges Raus, Zulkefli Resign

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Resignation takes effect on July 31.

Tun Raus Sharif and Tun Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin tendered their resignations as Chief Justice and President of the Court of Appeal today.

Their resignations are effective July 31, the Chief Registrar’s Office said in a statement.

According to the statement, both Raus and Zulkefli had met Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and informed him of their intention to resign.

“The Chief Justice and Court of Appeal president have notified the Prime Minister for the resignation to take effect at a reasonable date for pending judiciary work to be completed,” it said.

“In line with such considerations, the Chief Justice of Malaysia and the President of the Court of Appeal had sent their respective resignation letters to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on June 7, 2018, and the resignation takes effect on July 31, 2018,” the statement said.

The judges got a reply consenting to their resignation on June 11.

Raus and Zulkefli had been under pressure to step down since last July when the previous government announced that they would remain in their posts past the mandatory retirement age of 66 years and six months prescribed in the Federal Constitution.

Bernama

The pressure mounted on Monday, with the Advocates Association of Sarawak (AAS) joining in the calls for their resignation.

AAS president Ranbir Singh Sangha said given the recent developments in the country, it had become untenable for them to continue holding their current posts.

In Tokyo yesterday, Mahathir said the Council of Eminent Persons had indicated to the two judges that it would be good if they were to resign.

Otherwise, he said, the government might have to take action to remove them because “we believe that the extension of their office as senior judges was not right”.

Malaysian Bar president George Varughese had also called on Raus and Zulkefli to step down as the Barisan Nasional government that had recommended and defended their appointments was no longer in power.

Last year, Mahathir filed a judicial review to declare their appointments unlawful, but the action was dismissed. He has since filed an appeal.

Raus and Zulkefli were appointed to their positions on April 1 last year and were scheduled to retire on Aug 3 and Sept 27 respectively.

On July 7, however, the previous government announced that Raus would remain in office for three more years from Aug 4, while Zulkefli would remain in his post for two more years from Sept 28.