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Thursday December 6, 2007

Abdul Hamid confirmed as CJ

PUTRAJAYA: Acting Chief Justice Datuk Abdul Hamid Mohamad has been confirmed in the top judicial post. 

Datuk Abdul Hamid Mohamad
Federal Court judge Tan Sri Zaki Tun Azmi will take over from Abdul Hamid as Court of Appeal president 

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who made the announcement in a statement yesterday, said both appointments had been consented to by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin upon his advice after consultation with the Conference of Rulers. 

The Prime Minister added that the Federal Court was liasing with Istana Negara on when the instruments of appointment would be handed to the two judges. 

Abdul Hamid, 65, was made acting Chief Justice the day after Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim retired on Oct 3. 

Zaki, 62, made history on Sept 5 by being the first lawyer to be appointed directly to the Federal Court. 

Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail described the duo as “excellent choices”, expressing confidence that they would be able to restore public confidence in the judiciary. 

Tan Sri Zaki Tun Azmi
He said the new CJ was an honourable and honest judicial officer who held the highest regard for the law. 

On Zaki, the A-G said his good interacting skills honed in the private sector would be a great advantage. 

Bar Council president Ambiga Sreenevasan, in the congratulating the duo, admitted that she was rather surprised at the elevation of Zaki to the judiciary’s second-highest position. 

She pointed out that he had only recently been appointed a Federal Court judge. 

Ambiga said the council looked forward to a new era of cooperation with the judiciary to strengthen the administration of justice. 

Former High Court judge Datuk Syed Ahmad Idid also congratulated the duo, saying they were well qualified for the posts. 

“I am very happy for them and for the judiciary. To me the dispensation of justice by both would be crucial in the years to come,” he added.