Malaysia Gets Its First Woman Chief Justice- Tengku Maimun - Alternative Media Forum

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Monday, 20 May 2019

Malaysia Gets Its First Woman Chief Justice- Tengku Maimun

Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, who was serving as the Federal Judge has been appointed as the Chief Justice of Malaysia. She is the first woman to become the Chief Justice of Malaysia. The Federal Court of Malaysia is the highest court and the final appellate court in Malaysia. The Chief Justice of the Federal Court, is the office and title of the head of the Malaysian judiciary system. Tengku Maimun succeeds Richard Malanjum, whose tenure as the Chief Justice ended on April 12.

She started her judicial career as a Judicial Commissioner at the Kuala Lumpur High Court. She was later appointed as High Court Judge, Kuala Lumpur. She served as Court of Appeal Judge from 8th January 2013 until 25th November 2018. She has been serving as Federal Court Judge since 26th November 2018.

The Chief Justice has called upon the public to write to her if they know of any judicial misconduct.

Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat said that anyone with grievances against the judiciary should not use improper channels such as social media to voice their complaints.

Chief Justice Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat taking group photograph with SUHAKAM president Datuk Mah Weng Kwai (left), Dewan Rakyat speaker Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof (second left), attorney general Tommy Thomas (second right) and Dewan Negara speaker Datuk Vigneswaran (right) during the celebration ceremony in Putrajaya. MOHD SAHAR MISNI/The Star

Tengku Maimun added that those who have information of judicial misconduct should lodge a report with the relevant authorities so that a proper investigation can be carried out.

"The public may also write to me, the president of the Court of Appeal or to the Chief Judges of the two respective High Courts for us to do the needful," she at the ceremonial sitting to celebrate her appointment as the Chief Justice at the Palace of Justice here on Friday (May 17).


Tengku Maimun said that the judiciary respected and valued the public right to comment on a judge's work but added that any criticism of a judge’s decision should be done responsibly and based on all the facts.

She said that the proper channels should be used to file complaints as judges do not respond to allegations.

"Judges speak through their judgments. This is a tradition intended to preserve impartiality and respect for our courts and it prevents a judge from getting into public debates with unhappy litigants or dissatisfied critics," said Tengku Maimun.
She added that wild allegations - especially those made on social media - are a disservice to the judiciary and the country if the public does not resort to the proper channels for the allegations to be effectively addressed.

Tengku Maimun said that any unfounded and baseless criticism of the judiciary would weaken the administration of justice and erode the public's confidence in the institution.

She urged the public to be careful and responsible in their opinions and comments because of the repercussions of their actions.

She added that appropriate action will be taken on anyone who tarnishes the image and dignity of the judiciary.

Tengku Maimun also said that the Malaysian Bar should defend the judiciary, correct blatant misinformation and remind the public and media of the precious heritage of judicial neutrality and independence.

"I trust the AG would also do the same in appropriate cases as the traditional leader of the legal profession," Tengku Maimun added.

She also told judges to channel their time and energy positively instead of caring for the opinion of others about them.

"The work of a judge is daunting. Instead of brooding over what others think and say of you, you should channel your time and energy to strive and work hard - to dispose of cases and write the grounds of judgment on time.

"You have a duty to discharge and that duty must be discharged well," she said.

Among those who attended the ceremony were Attorney General Tommy Thomas, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof and Dewan Negara president Tan Sri S.A. Vigneswaran.

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