Come 17th October, the present Head of the Judiciary's tenure comes to its end. There is much concern both inside & outside the legal fraternity on whom will be the next to take office as the Chief Justice of Malaysia.
It is very important that the Judiciary remains to be seen as an independent branch of the government. Judiciary which is perceived to be under the influence of the executives will only invites unnecessary scandals and crises. It is therefore imperative that the judiciary must be seen free from direct alliance with any political parties.
Factors in determining the appointment must be those within the acceptable norms. Take example the seniority factor. True that seniority in terms of position currently held is one criterion but seniority in terms of years on the bench must also be taken into account together with competence, ability, judicial temperament and such.
The 18th October appointment will be another litmus test for the government and will act as an indicator whether we are in fact heading towards reforms.