Chief justice: Extend judges’ retirement age to 70
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