Rohana Yusuf in contention to be next chief judge of Malaya

Federal Court judge Rohana Yusuf.

PETALING JAYA: Federal Court judge Rohana Yusuf is said to be in the running for the post of chief judge of Malaya (CJM) when Zaharah Ibrahim retires next week.

A source said the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) had also recommended senior Federal Court judge Azahar Mohamed for the position.

“The JAC recommended them when the prime minister asked for two names for the position,” the source told FMT.

The source said JAC had initially submitted only one name to fill the vacancy after Zaharah retires on May 16.

If appointed, Rohana will be the third woman to occupy the position, after Siti Norma Yaakob (2005 to 2007) and Zaharah (July 2018 to May 2019).

Rohana, 63, was appointed a judicial commissioner in 2005 and a High Court of Malaya judge in 2011.

She was elevated to the Court of Appeal in 2013 and to the Federal Court last year.

Last week, the Malaysian judiciary created history when Federal Court judge Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat was appointed the first woman chief justice.

Tengku Maimun, 59, is the second youngest judicial officer to assume the position, after former chief justice Suffian Mohamed Hashim, who was appointed when he was 57.

The current mandatory retirement age for judges is 66 plus six months of extension.

Tengku Maimun and Azahar were the two contenders for the chief justice’s post when the prime minister asked for two names.

Initially, the JAC is said to have submitted only one name.

Under Article 112B of the constitution, the king appoints judges, including the top four judicial administrators, on the advice of the prime minister after consulting the Conference of Rulers.

Azahar, 63, was made Federal Court judge in 2014 and had vast experience in the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) before his elevation to the bench.

He was appointed judicial commissioner in 2004 and was elevated as High Court judge two years later before being promoted to the Court of Appeal in 2011.

Azahar is also a former member of the nine-member JAC that recommends judges for promotion.