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No response from Agong on new CJ, reveals Dr M

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The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah has not responded on the new chief justice, revealed Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

"I always imagined that the king is the person who must approve all senior appointments but somehow or rather, there is a reference to the Conference of Rulers. Now, it is not just the king, but it also has to go to the rulers.

"I don’t know what it means. The decision made (by Putrajaya) cannot be altered unless there is a valid reason.

"We have made a decision (on the chief justice) and sent it to the king. At this moment, I still have not received any confirmation of the candidacy," he told The Star in an exclusive interview.

The chief justice post has been vacant since April 12 following the retirement of Richard Malanjum.

Last week, the Singapore Straits Times reported on the impasse between the rulers and Mahathir's administration regarding the chief justice issue.

The newspaper quoted an unnamed source “close to a senior monarch” as stating: “They (the rulers) have kept mum, passing back the message that they are no rubber stamps."

On the requirement in certain states for economic plans to go through the palace before being presented to state assemblies, Mahathir said rulers can only view the plans but cannot approve or decline them.

"The right to implement anything rests with the people's government," he noted.

Mahathir also spoke about the controversy surrounding the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and how his name was “blackened”.

"To blacken my name so that I would not be influential so that I can be overthrown. This is ongoing.

"We should take action over such things, but then again, we have a problem of implementation, because the agencies of the government are often reluctant to do anything. They look the other way," he said.

Earlier this month, Mahathir announced that Putrajaya was withdrawing Malaysia's ratification of the Rome Statute.

This, he said, was as a result of confusion over the matter created by a particular person "who wants to be free to beat up people and things like that."

Although he did not mention names, it was obvious that Mahathir was responding to the Johor palace which was most vocal in its opposition towards the Rome Statute issue.

Johor crown prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim had claimed that the treaty would threaten the position of the Agong, Malays and Islam.


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