(Updated 21-10-2008, 10:32pm)
PUTRAJAYA, 21 Oct 2008: The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, has appointed Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Zaki Tun Azmi as the Chief Justice of the Federal Court, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said today.
He also said that the king has appointed Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Alauddin Datuk Mohd Sheriff as Court of Appeal President and Federal Court Judge Datuk Arifin Zakaria as the Chief Judge of Malaya.
All the appointments are effective 18 Oct, he said in a statement.
Abdullah said the king made the appointments acting on his advice and after consulting the Conference of Rulers.
He said the Federal Court was in contact with Istana Negara on setting the date for the presentation of the instruments of appointment and the swearing-in of the judges.
Chief Justice Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad went on mandatory retirement last week.
Zaki, 63, the son of a former lord president (chief justice), the late Tun Azmi Mohamed, was appointed a Federal Court judge in September last year and elevated to Court of Appeal president three months later.
In KUALA LUMPUR, Attorney General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail welcomed Zaki’s appointment.
“I believe he has the capability to carry out the duties of the highest position in the judiciary. I also believe he can also improve the judiciary,” he said.
Bar Council president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, in a statement, said there had been concerns in relation to Zaki’s political affiliations and business connections and that “these concerns can only be dispelled by him through the conduct of his duties and by a demonstration of independence and impartiality at all times”.
“The Bar will always defend the independence and integrity of the judiciary and is ever vigilant that the doctrine of the separation of powers be upheld,” she said.
“We hope that with these three appointments, the agenda for reform of the judiciary will be advanced in the interests of the nation.
“We also hope that, among others steps for reform, they will wholeheartedly support the setting up of a Judicial Appointments Commission that involves all stakeholders in the justice system,” she said. — Bernama