Critics of judicial appointments can take matter to court: Azalina (Updated)

PETALING JAYA: Those unhappy with the appointment of the Chief Judge and President of the Court of Appeal as additional judges to the Federal Court can seek a judicial review said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

Azalina, who is the de facto law minister, said the appointment of Chief Justice Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif and Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin as additional judges to the Federal Court should not be politicised.

"Any party who is of the view that the appointment of chief justice was against the Federal Constitution can bring the matter to court in accordance with the existing law," she said in a statement today.

On Friday, the Prime Minister's Office through a statement stated that Md Raus would remain as a Chief Justice for another three years beginning Aug 4 following his appointment as an additional judge at the Federal Court.

The statement also said Zulkefli who was appointed as an additional judge for the Federal Court for a term of two years commencing from Sept 28 would continue to hold the position of the President of the Court of Appeal from the date and for the same period.

Md Raus and Zulkefli were supposed to retire in August and September respectively.

The Malaysian Bar had deemed the duo's appointments as unconstitutional.

Azalina said all parties should respect the additional judges' appointments as it had been consented by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

She added the appointments of Md Raus and Zulkefli were pursuant to the Article 122(1A) of the Federal Constitution, which stated the prerogative of the King on the appointment of the additional judges with the advice of the Chief Justice.

Azalina said Tun Arifin Zakaria had advised the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the appointments on March 30, where the former was the Chief Justice at the time.

She said the expertise and experience held by Md Raus and Zulkefli were indispensable to the country's judiciary institution.