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Upko Youth Chief raps critics of Malanjum's appointment
Published on: Sunday, July 15, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Upko Youth Chief Arthur Sen has denounced PAS and Umno leaders who have criticised the elevation of Tan Sri Richard Malanjum to the post of Chief Justice of Malaysia.

He accused them of harbouring religious and racial prejudice and a parochial attitude because Malanjum is a Christian and an East Malaysian.

Speaking to FMT, he said the critics, in refusing to recognise Malaysia's multicultural character, were threatening to take the country backward.

"They are indirectly saying we in Sabah and Sarawak do not have the same rights they have although we are supposed to be equal partners in the formation of Malaysia," he said. "The federation is not the sole property of one race. It belongs to all of the citizens of Malaysia."

Malanjum received his letter of appointment from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at a ceremony on Wednesday.

He replaces Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif.

His tenure will be short as he will reach the mandatory retirement age of 66 this October and his service can be extended for a maximum of only six months.

Those who opposed the appointment pointed out that Malanjum, as a federal court judge, voted to allow Lina Joy to convert to Christianity in 2007, had allowed The Herald newspaper to refer to God as "Allah" and had declared the conversion of M Indira Gandhi's three children to Islam as null and void.

Sen said those decisions should have no relevance in determining whether Malanjum had the character and wisdom to carry out the chief justice's job.

"A chief justice does not have absolute power in making decision in the court all by himself," he said.

"These people who throw around these accusations actually understand the judicial process of this country, but they are making all these wild accusations to create perceptions and to scare the people for their own political gains.

"But people nowadays are not like before. They are not easily swayed by this mentality.

This is nothing but racism. It has nothing to do with religion."

Moreover, he added, the civil courts were concerned only with secular laws because Islamic laws were under the purview of the shariah court system.

"I hope we will no longer see religious issues being used to raise one group of people against another," he said.

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