‘Little constraint’ in appointment of Ahmad: Aidi
Published on: Thursday, August 15, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Government has taken action to fill the post of new Syariah Chief Judge for the State by appointing Ahmad Lakim, which was gazetted on June 27, this year.

However, State Law and Native Affairs Minister Datuk Aidi Moktar said it is currently facing a “little constraint” as Ahmad is a federal officer whereby his appointment and promotion comes under the jurisdiction of the federal service.

“On March 21, this year, the State Government proposed Yang Arif Ahmad Lakim to the Malaysia Syariah Judiciary Department (JKSM) to fill up the post and has asked the Sabah Islamic Religious Council (Muis) to bring up the proposal to the Head of State.

“The proposal was granted and gazetted through the State Gazette No.159 dated on June 27, this year.

“Considering that Ahmad is a federal officer, the process of appointment and promotion is stipulated under the jurisdiction of federal service, while the jurisdiction of the Sabah Government is only issuing the appointment under Section 5(1) of the Syariah Court Enactment No.6 2016,” Aidi said, in a statement, Wednesday.

He was commenting on a statement by a practising lawyer in Sabah Hamid Ismail who urged the State Government to seriously look into the appointment of a new Syariah Chief Judge for Sabah who has yet to perform his judicial duties in the State.

He said the Government appointed Ahmad Lakim to the top Syariah post in Sabah pursuant to Section 5(1) of the Syariah Court Enactment 2004, which took effect on April 1, this year.

However, until today, Hamid was reported saying that the said Chief Judge is not stationed in Sabah and, instead, presently in Melaka as a Syariah High Court judge.

“No one can act on his (Ahmad) behalf because his appointment is valid and effective. I am informed that he is 58 years old and in good health condition.

“Without a head, Syariah judges and Syariah courts in Sabah have no directions and aims. Without a Syariah Chief Judge in Sabah, all appeals and application proceedings in the Syariah Court of Appeal can’t be disposed,” Hamid said.

Aidi said he was made to understand that there is a “little constraint” to appoint Ahmad for the post when he (Ahmad) chose to retire at 58 years old and his mandatory retirement is on Sept 2, this year.

Nonetheless, he said, JKSM has submitted a proposal for Ahmad to assume the post to the Malaysia Public Service Department (JPA) for further action as the decision falls under the jurisdiction of Public Service Promotion Board, JPA chaired by the National Chief Secretary (KSN).

“Following this, I have proposed for the Minister in the Prime Minister Department Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof and Director-General/Chief Justice of the Syariah judges, JKSM to meet the Sabah Head of State to inform and clarify the matter.

“I want to emphasise that at the Sabah Government level, this has been resolved and is not an issue.

“The only restriction is at the federal service level which needs to be cleared to enable Ahmad to assume the role of Chief Syariah Judge,” said Aidi.


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