PETALING JAYA: Following the resignations of Tun Md Raus Sharif and Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin as Chief Justice and Court of Appeal president, Malaysian Bar president George Varughese is now calling on the duo to vacate their positions as additional judges.
Earlier on Wednesday (June 13), Raus and Zulkefli had resigned from their respective judicial positions, which will take effect on July 31.
Varughese pointed out that the Malaysian Bar had always viewed the duo's appointment as Chief Justice, Court of Appeal president and additional judges as blatantly unconstitutional.
"The Malaysian Bar thus reiterates our call upon Raus and Zulkefli to vacate their positions as additional judges, as well as their positions as Chief Justice and Court of Appeal president, respectively, with immediate effect, instead of continuing to remain in office until July 13," Varughese said in a statement issued on Wednesday (June 13).
Varughese stressed that the appointment of individuals into positions of high judicial office must always be beyond reproach.
According to Varughese, the failure of Raus and Zulkefli to heed public concerns over their appointment had undermined the status and stature of their offices.
"This caused the erosion of public trust and confidence in the independence of the Judiciary, and their insistence on accepting their appointments as additional judges, and as Chief Justice and Court of Appeal president, has done the nation a great disservice."
To uphold the Federal Constitution and the rule of law, Varughese said that the Judiciary must always be truly independent.
"The Malaysian Bar views these resignations as a precursor to judicial reform and the strengthening of the independence of the Judiciary," he added.