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Malanjum’s appointment hailed, MA63 is honoured

13th July, 2018


KOTA KINABALU: The appointment of a Sabah-born judge as the Chief Justice of Malaysia has been roundly hailed and supported.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), a component of the Federal and state governments, described Tan Sri Richard Malanjum as ‘the deserving one’ to be appointed to the top position in the Malaysian judiciary.

“On behalf of PKR, we congratulate Tan Sri Richard Malanjum for being appointed as the Chief Justice. He well deserves it. He’s definitely qualified and the right person for the job,” said its Sabah chairman Christina Liew.

Liew who is also the Deputy Chief Minister of Sabah and Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment especially commended and credited Malanjum, the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak, for his resourcefulness and innovative approach in improving the judiciary in the two east Malaysian states.

“He’s known to have initiated many programmes for the judiciary in Sabah and Sarawak, such as the mobile court in Sabah, helping the people, the natives especially, who live far away from the town, with birth registration and the issuance of the birth certificate, identity card and other important documents.

“He also started the court hearing between Sandakan-Tawau-Kota Kinabalu High Court via video conference. He is resourceful in his approach in handling of cases,” she said.

Malanjum, 65, was appointed to the job after former Chief Justice Tun Md Raus Sharif’s tenure expires this July 31. His appointment marks a new milestone in the country’s history as he is the first person from the Borneo states to be appointed to the top post in the judiciary.

He was sworn in before the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V at Istana Negara on Wednesday night, and was witnessed by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong, Attorney-General Tommy Thomas, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa and Federal Court Chief Registrar Datuk Seri Latifah Mohd Tahar.

Born on Oct 13, 1952 in Tuaran, Sabah, Malanjum received his early education at the Buit Hill School, Putatan and Sacred Heart Primary School, Kota Kinabalu before completing his secondary education at the La Salle Secondary School, Kota Kinabalu.

The Kadazandusun lad then began his career as a clerk at the Education Department, Department of Agriculture, Television and Radio Department and as a welfare officer at the State Welfare Department.

In July 1972, he graduated from the MARA Institute of Technology in Shah Alam, Selangor (now known as Universiti Teknologi MARA) as an external student at the University of London and obtained a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in 1975. Upon graduation with the law degree, he was appointed as an administrative officer in the Chief Minister’s Department, Sabah but he was assigned as a deputy public prosecutor in the Sabah State Attorney General’s Chambers.

In 1976, Malanjum furthered his studies in London and successfully completed his “Bar-at-Law” study within the same year.

He was admitted to the English Bar of the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn in London and upon returning, he continued his service as a deputy public prosecutor and senior legal counsel in the Sabah State Attorney General’s Chambers.

Malanjum then was admitted as a solicitor in the Malaysian Bar, Sabah in 1977, and was also admitted to the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Bar in 1991.

In 1981, he resigned and proceeded to join a private legal firm in Kota Kinabalu until 1992. He was then appointed as a judicial commissioner in March 1992.

Later in 1993, he was elevated as a High Court Judge in Kuching Sarawak. He was also placed in the High Court of Miri and Sandakan in 1994 and 1996 and he was transferred back to the Kuching High Court in May 2002.

In August 2002, he was appointed as Judge of the Court of Appeal Malaysia and later in June 2005, he was appointed as Federal Court Judge of Malaysia.

Malanjum is the first native of Sabah to be appointed as a High Court Judge, Judge of the Court of Appeal as well as the Judge of the Federal Court.

At the age of 52, he was the youngest Federal Court Judge appointed to the post. On July 26, 2006 he was officially appointed as Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak until to date.

Married to Puan Sri Marina Tiu, the couple has three children, namely Jessica Eleanor, Edgar Richard and Carl Barnabas.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau said the appointment of Malanjum demonstrates that the Malaysian Agreement 1963 (MA63) is being honoured under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.

Tangau who is also acting president of the United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (UPko), a component of the State government, said: “We in Sabah felt that we are now being truly regarded as Malaysian, an equal partner in the federation based on MA63, and truly an era in the Borneonisation process.

“On behalf of UPKO and every Momogun in particular, and all Sabahans in general, I wish to congratulate Tan Sri Richard Malanjum on his appointment as the new Chief Justice of Malaysia. Tan Sri Richard Malanjum is the first East Malaysian to be appointed to take on this important and prestigious responsibility.

“His appointment is thoroughly deserved and we are extremely proud of him.”

“We are convinced that Malanjum will be able to serve well in his new position citing his years of experience within the legal and judiciary fraternity,” said Tangau, who is also Minister of Trade and Industry. “Throughout his career, Tan Sri Malanjum is well recognized and respected of his commitment to upholding the rule of law and protecting the integrity of the constitution.

“His acceptance of this new appointment and responsibility demonstrates his commitment to serving the public and the court system, which in turn will directly fulfill the constitutional promise of justice for all.

“We wish him well, and the wisdom to strive in this position of judicial leadership.”

Meanwhile, Sabah Law and Native Affairs minister Datuk Aidi Mokhtar said Richard’s elevation was an honour for Sabah and her people and was in line with his qualification.

“Tan Sri Richard Malanjum is qualified (as a Chief Justice), in fact, he should have assumed the role earlier. “However, we understand that it is the prerogative of the government which has its own reason on who should be appointed,” he said after State Islamic Agency Raya open house here.

Present were Sabah mufti Datuk Bungsu Aziz Jaafar and State Islamic Religious Council (Muis) chairman Dr Hasbullah Taha.

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