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Malaysian Top Judges Step Down as New Regime Cleans House

The two top judges of Malaysia are the latest in the line of bureaucrats to step down amid allegations of corruption in Najib Razak's regime


Updated:June 13, 2018, 1:23 PM IST
Malaysian Top Judges Step Down as New Regime Cleans House
A file image of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. (Photo: Reuters)
Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia's top two judges are resigning, court officials said on Wednesday, the latest senior public servants to leave their posts since the former government lost power.

Chief Justice Raus Sharif and Appeals Court President Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin are to step down on July 31, a judiciary statement said.

They are the latest senior officials to quit their jobs since Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad won a shock election victory last month on a pledge to clean up a government beset by scandal and other abuses.

The two judges had their terms extended last year despite exceeding the legal retirement age of 66 for their posts. It had sparked protests from Mahathir -- then in the opposition -- and the legal community.

The attorney-general and central bank governor have both left their jobs after allegations related to a scandal surrounding sovereign wealth fund, 1MDB.

Ousted former prime minister Najib Razak, his family and cronies were accused of plundering billions of dollars from the fund in a high-level fraud.

Najib, who has been questioned by anti-graft investigators twice over the controversy since losing power, has denied all charges.

The judiciary statement said the judges' resignations were approved by the King on June 8, as is required by law for such senior legal posts.

Critics say the independence of Malaysia's judiciary has been eroded steadily over the years.

Mahathir, who is 92 and serving as premier for the second time, is himself accused of starting the process of weakening the courts in the 1980s during his first tenure.
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