KUALA LUMPUR: The Prime Minister has finally filled the post of four eminent persons in the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) after leaving it vacant for 66 days.
The previous members’ term expired on Feb 9.
Chief Justice Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif announced yesterday the term of the new team would run from April 17 to April 16, 2019.
The four eminent persons are former Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria, former Court of Appeal judge Datuk Anantham Kasinather, former Sarawak Attorney-General Datuk Abdul Razak Tready and Prof Dr Choong Yeow Choy, lecturer at Universiti Malaya’s Law Faculty.
Federal Court judge Tan Sri Azahar Mohamed will be the fifth judge in the commission.
The three Bar associations were consulted over a list of 11 names.
When contacted, Malaysian Bar president George Varughese said the four eminent persons were “well-qualified and respected in their respective fields”.
“However, there should be better representation from a wider cross-section of society and the JAC should include female representatives.
“In order for the JAC to be progressive, it must also be well represented (not nominal) by senior members of the Bar.
“Reform of the current structure and role of the JAC is thus appropriate and timely,” he said.
Sabah Law Association president Brenndon Soh and Advocates Association of Sarawak president Ranbir Singh Sangha also welcomed the appointments.
“With the sufficient quorum, the JAC will now be able to carry out its statutory function accordingly,” said Soh.
Noting continuity and diversity in the appointments of the former Chief Justice, an academic and the former Sarawak A-G, Soh said the JAC would “have been even better served with female representation on board”.