Malanjum Likely New CJ

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Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum has dismissed speculation that he has been named for the post of chief justice.

Frontrunners:

  • Chief Justice – Richard Malanjum, current Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak
  • Court of Appeal president – Ahmad Maarop, current Chief Judge of Malaya
  • Chief Judge of Malaya – Zaharah Ibrahim, current Federal Court judge
  • Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak – Stephen Chung Hian Guan, current Court of Appeal judge

Updated: Richard Malanjum was sworn in as the new Chief Justice of Malaysia effective today (July 11). He received his letter of appointment from the King in a ceremony at Istana Negara tonight.

“No, no, no, itu cerita dongeng (that’s a fairy tale),” he said when asked if his name was proposed to replace current Chief Justice Tun Md Raus Sharif.

The Malaysian Insight reported earlier on Wednesday that Malanjum was nominated to become Chief Justice in a list submitted by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to the Conference of Rulers.

In recent weeks, East Malaysians had called for Malanjum to be appointed as the next chief justice based on his seniority and merit.

The 65-year-old Malanjum is the most senior Federal Court judge and previously served as Federal Court and Court of Appeal judge.

Lim Huey Teng/Malaysiakini

He is the obvious frontrunner as he had been bypassed for promotions since 2011.

History will be created if he becomes the chief justice as he will be the first Sabahan or Sarawakian to occupy the post as head of the judiciary.

The Conference of Rulers is meeting for two days from today, and one of the items on the agenda is a decision on the appointment of judges for all four administrative positions in the judiciary – Chief Justice (CJ), Court of Appeal (COA) president, Chief Judge of Malaya (CJM) and Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak (CJSS).

Citing sources, the portal also reported that other nominees for the top judiciary posts were Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop for COA president, Federal Court judge Tan Sri Zaharah Ibrahim for CJM and Court of Appeal judge Datuk Stephen Chung Hian Guan for CJSS.

If Zaharah is appointed CJM, it will be the second time a woman judge has held the position, the first being Siti Norma Yaakob from 2005 to 2007.

However, the tenures of both Malanjum and Zaharah would be very short.

Malanjum will reach the mandatory retirement age of 66 on Oct 12 and can remain in office until April if the king gives him a six-month extension.

Zaharah will retire on Nov 16 and can remain in office until May if an extension is approved.

Ahmad, who assumed his present position on April 1 last year, will turn 66 on May 21 next year.