KOTA KINABALU: Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) has reiterated its support for Tan Sri Richard Malanjum to be appointed as Chief Justice of Malaysia.
Its deputy president Arthur Joseph Kurup said Malanjum, as the most senior Federal Court judge, is most qualified to take on the position.
Kurup, who is Pensiangan MP, said Malanjum has also been "outstanding" in discharging his duties as the current Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak.
"He has shown great leadership and has been very innovative in improving our judiciary.
"He has modernised our judiciary by being the first to implement the electronic case management system which includes the E-Filing and E-Judgment Systems.
"Malanjum has also shown great dedication in operating the Mobile Court to provide our rural population with access to basic legal services of the judiciary," Kurup said in a statement on Wednesday (June 14).
Kurup said Malanjum had also fought hard to preserve and upgrade the role and status of the native court system in Sabah and Sarawak, as well as revived the tradition of the annual Opening of Legal Year in Sabah.
"All these achievements prove Tan Sri Richard Malanjum's exemplary leadership as Chief Judge.
"I am confident that if he was given the chance to hold the post of Malaysian Chief Justice, he will introduce more innovative ways of improving the operation of our judiciary," he added.
Kurup said if Malanjum were to be appointed to the highest position in the judiciary, he would be the first East Malaysian to do so, and it will send a strong signal that everyone in Malaysia has equal opportunity based on merit.
"West Malaysians have served as Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak in the past.
"So it is not a problem for a Sabahan to serve as Malaysian Chief Justice in an era where we are moving towards a new and progressive Malaysia.
"The best time to create history is now, and we have the best candidate to hold the post," he said.
Kurup said PBRS gives its full support to Malanjum based on merit, proven achievements, and seniority within the judiciary.
He first voiced his support for Malanjum in October 2016 before the retirement of former Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria.
Arifin retired in March 2017 and was replaced by Tun Md Raus Sharif who tendered his resignation on Wednesday.
Raus and Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin, whose positions were deemed "unconstitutional" by several groups, have sent in their letters of resignation and will vacate their positions on July 31.