Chief jus­tice: Ex­tend judges’ re­tire­ment age to 70

New Straits Times - - News -

PU­TRA­JAYA: Chief Jus­tice Tun Arifin Zakaria be­lieves the re­tire­ment age of judges in the coun­try should be ex­tended from 66 to 70.

He said Malaysian judges re­tired quite early com­pared with other coun­ter­parts in the re­gion as well as in other de­vel­oped na­tions.

Cit­ing his en­coun­ters with oth­ers at the Asean Law As­so­ci­a­tion gath­er­ings, Arifin said many were sur­prised to learn Malaysian judges’ re­tire­ment age.

“Judges (in Malaysia) re­tire quite young com­pared with other coun­tries, in­clud­ing In­done­sia and the Philip­pines where the age of re­tire­ment is 70.

“We should amend our Con­sti­tu­tion to in­crease the age of re­tire­ment be­cause our life­span has gone up over the years.

“The re­tire­ment age as in the Con­sti­tu­tion now is very clear — 60 plus 6,” he said dur­ing a spe­cial in­ter­view held in con­junc­tion with his up­com­ing re­tire­ment.

The coun­try’s top judge, who will turn 67 in Oc­to­ber, had his term ex­tended by an­other six months last year. He is sched­uled to clock out this Fri­day.

When asked whether the re­tire­ment age should be ex­tended be­yond 70, Arifin said he felt it was ideal to keep it at the pro­posed age of 70 for now.

“The cur­rent trend within the Asean re­gion is 70. I think we should keep to 70; we should fol­low the trend,” he said, laugh­ing.

On his post-re­tire­ment plans, Arifin said he wanted to con­tinue serv­ing in mat­ters re­lat­ing to the law.

“I will even con­sider be­com­ing a con­sul­tant. Why not? I think it is es­sen­tial for us to re­main ac­tive, oth­er­wise our men­tal ca­pac­ity will re­duce.”

On the im­por­tance of mas­ter­ing the English lan­guage, Arifin re­it­er­ated his call that it was cru­cial for those in the ju­di­ciary and le­gal sys­tem to con­stantly im­prove their com­mand of the lan­guage since many ref­er­ences were in English.

Tun Arifin Zakaria

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