Former chief justice Abdul Hamid Mohamad has argued that a further extension to the tenure of Chief Justice Md Raus Sharif after the 66 years and six months would be unconstitutional.
Hamid posted his advice on the constitutionality of prolonging the tenure with a month to go into Justice Raus' six-month extension.
However, on the outset of his blog posting, he stressed that he was not writing because he does not like Justice Raus, but was merely highlighting his point of view on the constitution.
Hamid was the chief justice from November 2007 to October 2008.
He said Article 125(1) of the Federal Constitution states that a judge of the Federal Court shall hold office until he attains the age of 66 years or such later time, not being later than six months after he attains that age, as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may approve.
Hamid said the provision stated in no uncertain terms that the mandatory retirement age of a judge of the Federal Court (including the CJ) should be when he or she attains the age of 66 years.
“However, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may extend it for another six months and no more. So, even with the extension, once a CJ has attained the age of 66 years and six months, his service cannot be further extended pursuant to this clause,” he argued.
It was previously reported in The Malaysian Insight, that Justice Md Raus' tenure may be extended beyond the 66 years and six months. Justice Md Raus turned 66 on Feb 4, and now has served five months into his extension.
Hamid also responded to Article 122 (1A) of the Federal Constitution which states that "Notwithstanding anything in this constitution contained, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong acting on the advice of the CJ of the Federal Court may appoint for such purposes or for such period of time as he may specify any person who has held high judicial office in Malaysia to be an additional judge of the Federal Court, provided that no such additional judge shall be ineligible to hold office by reason of having attained the age of 66 years"...