IN TWO brief articles on the delay of the appointment of Chief Judge of Malaya (The Star, Aug 11) the Chief Justice and Prof Shad Faruqi commented that the Prime Minister is not bound by the decision of the Conference of Rulers on the appointment of the Chief Judge of Malaya.
Article 122B(1) says: The Chief Justice of the Federal Court, the President of the Court of Appeal and the Chief Judges of the High Court and (subject to Article 122C) the other judges of Federal Court, of the Court of Appeal and the High Courts should be appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, acting on the advice of the Prime Minister, after consulting the Conference of Rulers.
It could be construed that the words “after consulting” merely means consulting and that the Prime Minister is not bound by the advice. If “consulting” merely for advice, why the word “after”?
There has been no known precedent on not accepting the Rulers’ decision. It may not be appropriate to read the role and power of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Conference of Rulers in the light of Her Majesty the Queen’s role and power in Britain.
The Conference of Rulers plays a unique and very important role in the governance and the constitutionalism of Malaysia when it comes to the appointment of persons to important posts, including that of judges.
Because of Malaysia's unique political, constitutional and legal structure, the Conference of Rulers plays an exceptionally important role in the proper functioning of the doctrine and parliamentary constitutional monarchic government.
The Constitution must be upheld to maintain some aspects of sovereignty of the Malay rulers for the good of the nation.
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