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GBM welcomes appointment of new chief justice

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Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM) welcomes the appointment of Richard Malanjum as the Chief Justice of Malaysia.

Having served as the chief judge of Sabah and Sarawak, one of the senior positions in the judiciary, he has experience that would be invaluable in contributing to the efforts of the new government in bringing about an effective administration of justice based on the rule of law and constitutionalism in the new Malaysia after the general elections.

We are therefore taken aback by statements from certain quarters that alleged the appointment of a non-Muslim to the highest position in the judiciary as being detrimental to Muslims on legal matters. Such statements are totally unfounded and untrue and serve no other purpose than to create suspicion leading to disharmony.

Ethnicity and religious identity should never be criteria for appointment to a public position. Merit should prevail. The old style by the Barisan Nasional government of making appointments of top officials on the basis of being Malay-Muslim is not relevant in this Malaysia baru.

The appointment of Richard Malanjum is based on the merit of his qualifications and his impeccable judicial experience and fulfils all the constitutional requirements of the position. His appointment comes at a time when the judiciary is in need of reforms to restore public confidence as the third pillar in the separation of powers and bulwark for justice. It should be regarded as a positive development and a sign of the commitment to realise the vision of a Malaysia that is just and equitable and inclusive of everyone regardless of ethnicity and religion.

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We believe Richard Malanjum, as the new Chief Justice of Malaysia, will be impartial in his administration of justice as provided by the Federal Constitution and the laws of the land. As proven in the recently concluded election, Malaysians have voted for a Malaysia that treasures justice and righteousness and one that welcomes people from diverse communities to contribute to making Bangsa Malaysia a reality.

Endorsed by the following GBM member organisations:

1. Engage
2. Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH)
3. Kumpulan Aktivis Mahasiswa Independen (Kami)
4. LLG Cultural Development Centre (LLG)
5. Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhist, Christianity, Hindu, Sikh and Tao (MCCBCHST)
6. Merdeka University Education Centre
7. Negeri Sembilan Chinese Assembly Hall (NSCAH)
8. Partners in Community Organising (Pacos Trust)
9. Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara (Aliran)
10. Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan (Permas)
11. Persatuan Bekas Siswazah Universiti dan Kolej di China, Malaysia (Liu Hua)
12. Pertubuhan Ikram Malaysia (Ikram)
13. Pusat Komas (Komas)
14. Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)
15. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram)
16. Tamil Foundation Malaysia (TF)
17. Tindak Malaysia (TM)
18. United Chinese School Alumni Associations of Malaysia (UCSAAM)

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