Wednesday, 5 December 2007
Hamid is new Chief Justice
Court of Appeal president Abdul Hamid Mohamad has been appointed Chief Justice, which is the judiciary's most powerful post, while Federal Court Judge Tan Sri Zaki Tun Azmi is taking over the former's position as Court of Appeal President.
In announcing this today, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said 65-year-old Abdul Hamid's appointment took effect on Nov 1 while that of Zaki, 62, would be decided later.
Abdul Hamid was made acting Chief Justice on Nov 1 when the post was left vacant following Tun Ahmad Fairuz Abdul Halim's retirement.
Born on April 18, 1942 in Penang, Abdul Hamid joined the judicial and legal service as a magistrate in Kangar in 1969 after obtaining his Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Singapore.
He has vast experience in the judiciary, starting off as judicial commissioner of the High Court of Malaya on May 1, 1990. Two years later, he was appointed a High Court judge.
On Sept 1, 2000, he was appointed a Court of Appeal judge before being appointed a Federal Court judge in 2003.
He was judge of the Special Court on April 1, 2007, for a two-year period. Barely five months later, he was sworn in as president of the Court of Appeal and on Nov 1 this year, appointed acting Chief Justice of the Federal Court.
Bernama has the story here
Meanwhile in an immediate response, the Malaysian Bar expressed surprise over the appointment of Zaki as the Court of Appeal president “given that there were OTHER suitable candidates in terms of Seniority and Service in the judiciary”.
The Bar’s president, Ambiga Sreenevasan, said in a statement that Zaki was also only recently elevated to the Federal Court.
Zaki previously served as UMNO’s Legal Adviser and Disciplinary Committee Chairperson. He was also UMNO's Selection Committee Secretary and Deputy Chairperson of UMNO's Disciplinary Board Appeal Panel.
He stepped down from these posts in 2005 following his divorce from his second wife, Nor Hayati Yahaya.
With Abdul Hamid due for retirement next year, Zaki is the frontrunner for the judiciary's No 1 post.
For background: Read Rocky'sbru: here
Also The People's Parliament: here
Latest on Zaki's appointment by skthew: here
Biodata & pix of Tan Sri Zaki: Source: Malaysiakini, 5 December 2007)