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Fairuz Extension Status Unknown

It’s ‘king’s prerogative’

KUALA LUMPUR: The extension of the chief justice’s tenure is the prerogative of the king, lawyer and Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh said yesterday.

He said a phrase in Article 125(1) of the Federal Constitution stated that a judge shall hold office until he attained the age of 66 and a further six months “as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may approve” should be read together with Article 40(2).

Karpal said it was the king alone who had the discretion on whether to extend Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim’s tenure after he turns 66 on Nov 1.

“The king may consult the prime minister, but it is purely consultation and nothing else,” he said.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said on Tuesday that the king had to act on the prime minister’s advice in the extension of the term.

Ahmad Fairuz had applied to the king in July for a six-month extension, but with less than two weeks to go before retirement, he has not received a letter to allow him to remain in office.

– quoted from an article published in NST on 18th October 2007 (link)

I ignored commenting on Nazri’s statement the day before because I wasn’t sure whether he was right or not. However after reading Karpal’s comments I got myself a copy of the Constitution to check the quoted articles. I have reproduced the related points below :

Article 125 (Tenure of office and remuneration of judges of Federal Court)

(1) Subject to the provisions of Clauses (2) to (5), a judge of the Federal Court shall hold office until he attains the age of sixty-six years or such later time, not being later than six months after he attains that age, as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may approve.

Article 40 (Yang di-Pertuan Agong to act on advice)

(1) In the exercise of his functions under this Constitution or federal law the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall act in accordance with the advice of the Cabinet or of a Minister acting under the general authority of the Cabinet, except as otherwise provided by this Constitution; but shall be entitled, at his request, to any information concerning the government of the Fderation which is available to the Cabinet.

(1A) In the exercise of his functions under this Constitution or federal law, where the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is to act in accordance with advice, on advice, or after considering advice, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall accept and act in accordance with such advice.

(2) The Yang di-Pertuan Agong may act in his discretion in the performance of the following functions, that is to say :
a) the appointment of a Prime Minister;
b) the withholding of consent to a request for the dissolution of Parliament;
c) the requisition of a meeting of the Conference of Rulers concerned solely with the privileges, position, honours and dignities of Their Royal Highnesses, and any action at such a meeting,

and in any other case mentioned in this Constitution.

Now I’ll admit its not 100% clear, because ‘as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may approve’ in Article 125(1) implies it may be covered by Article 40(2) as a case where he may act in his discretion. So I can’t really make fun of Nazri for his statements. It is worth considering though that he often misinforms the public and even makes stuff up whereas Karpal Singh is a respected lawyer.

Well come November 2nd we’ll know who sits in the Chief Justice’s office chair.

CJ’s Last Day

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Written by ak57

October 20, 2007 at 12:54 pm

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