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Malaysian Bar to challenge judicial appointments in court

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Bar will challenge the legality of the appointments of Chief Justice Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif and Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin as additional judges in the Federal Court.

This move was among eight resolutions passed at the Bar's extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on Thursday.

Bar president George Varughese said that all resolutions were passed by a resounding majority.

He said that the Bar held their position that the appointments were unconstitutional as well as null and void.

"It is unprecedented and the first time that this is happening. We will do it shortly," he told a press conference after the EGM that was held at a packed Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall saw the attendance of 993 members of the Bar.

The EGM had discussed the motion raised by Varughese with regard to the July 7 announcement made by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in relation to the appointments.

The motion was to "uphold the supremacy of the Federal Constitution" and to "defend the independence and integrity of the judiciary".

The appointments will be for three years for Md Raus and two years for Zulkefli.

On April 1, Md Raus was appointed as the 14th Chief Justice, replacing Tun Arifin Zakaria who retired after reaching the age of 66 years and six months on March 31.

Md Raus and Zulkefli turned 66 on Feb 4 and March 28, respectively, and were already on a six-month extension of service before they were appointed to their current positions on April 1.

While Md Raus’ extension ends on Thursday, Zulkefli’s will end on Sept 27.