KOTA KINABALU: Chief Judge for Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum is getting the backing of an increasing number of groups and individuals, in both states, to fill the nation’s highest judicial position.
They said the Sabah-born Malanjum was qualified for the Chief Justice job, having served as Chief Judge for the courts in the east Malaysian states for the past decade.
Among those who have voiced their support for Malanjum’s appointment to the post were Sabah Justice of the Peace Council, Native Court judge Bryan Matising as well as Api Api state assemblyman Christina Liew.
Council chairman Datuk Clarence Bongkos Malakun said Malanjum’s knowledge of the law and his work experience was equal, if not better, than others have held the Chief Justice post.
“He has brought innovation into the courts of Sabah and Sarawak such as pushing for the computerised taking of notes of proceedings,” said Clarence.
He said it was also under Malanjum that Mobile Courts were introduced in both states.
“The judiciary now go out to the poor in the remote areas of Sabah and Sarawak instead of rural folk having to travel great distances to attend court and other legal matters,” Clarence added.
Others who have voiced their backing for Malanjum include Sarawak State Assembly Deputy Speaker Datuk Gerawat Gala and Sarawak Advocates Association Datuk Lawrence Lai Yew Son, the former Miri mayor.
It has been reported that Chief Justice Tun Ariffin Zakaria was due to retire in March and was working on a succession plan.
Malanjum is on the fourth rung in the hierarchy after the Court of Appeal president Raus Sharif and Chief Judge of Malaya Zulkifli Ahmad Makinudin, who will retire next August and September respectively.