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KUCHING, July 13: The Dayak National Congress (DNC) decried Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) and United Malays National Organisation (Umno) Youth for criticising the appointment of Tan Sri Richard Malanjum as Chief Justice of Malaysia.
The congress’ president Paul Raja said the profiling of Malanjum as a non-Muslim by PAS and Umno Youth was uncalled for, and emphasised that all religions command their believers to do good and to promote justice.
“So to pick on and cast aspersions on the Chief Justice as a non-Muslim does not help to promote justice,” he said in a statement today.
Paul was responding to the sarcastic congratulatory message by Umn Youth on Malanjum’s appointment, and PAS’ claim that the legal rights of Muslims were under threat following the appointments of non-Muslims to the top legal positions of Chief Justice of Malaysia, Attorney General (Tommy Thomas) and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of legal affairs (Liew Vui Keong).
He said being a non-Muslim did not restrict the Chief Justice from administering justice in the nation’s highest court, adding that Malanjum is widely experienced and is the most qualified and most senior of the Justices of the Federal Court and therefore most suited to helm the judiciary.
“We must also remember that he is helming the civil court of Malaysia and not the Syariah Court,” said Raja.
He added that what was most important was that Malanjum fulfilled the legal and constitutional conditions to be appointed Chief Justice.
“The sad thing here is that in spite of his qualification, he has been overlooked on many occasions in the past,” said Paul.
He reminded Umno Youth and PAS that Malaysia is a multiracial country and that Sabah and Sarawak were part of the nation with many non-Muslims among their citizens. He said Sabahans and Sarawakians, like any other Malaysian, had the right to be appointed to the highest office in the civil service if they were so qualified.
“In fact, we would like to remind them that Article 153 of the Federal Constitution has been neglected by the previous regime, as far as the rights of the Natives of Sabah and Sarawak are concerned with regards to appointment in the civil service.
“We therefore hope that PAS and Umno Youth should learn their lesson and be more charitable in their political struggle in promoting the rights and welfare of all Malaysians instead of being champions in suppressing other lawful citizens of this country called Malaysia,” said Raja, adding that they could not pretend to live in the caves in the dark ages.
He urged them to open their eyes and see that the world is progressing to serve humanity in the best possible ways.
“Not trying to oppress others who are different race, colour and creed. Please grow up and live with everybody,” Paul concluded. — DayakDaily