PUTRAJAYA: Senior Federal Court judge Azahar Mohamed will perform the duties and functions of the chief judge of Malaya (CJM) until the vacancy is filled, according to a letter by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat sighted by FMT.
In the letter, Tengku Maimun said Azahar would be empowered to carry out the duties which include functions as provided for under the Federal Constitution.
Tengku Maimun, who addressed the letter to all judges and officers in the peninsula, said the directive was in accordance with Section 9 (3)(a) of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964.
The Federal Court’s corporate communication unit head Suzarika Sahak confirmed the appointment, effective May 17.
The need to appoint a Federal Court judge to carry out the duties and functions of the CJM followed the retirement of Zaharah Ibrahim on May 16.
The government is expected to announce the next CJM soon.
On May 10, FMT reported that Azahar and another Federal Court judge, Rohana Yusuf, were said to be in the running for the CJM’s post, the third most senior position in the judiciary.
Under Article 112B of the constitution, the king appoints judges, including the top four judicial administrators, on the advice of the prime minister after consultation with the Conference of Rulers.
Azahar, 63, was made a Federal Court judge in 2014. He had vast experience in the Attorney-General’s Chambers before his elevation to the bench.
He was appointed as judicial commissioner in 2004 and elevated to High Court judge two years later. He was promoted to the Court of Appeal in 2011.
Azahar is also a former member of the nine-member Judicial Appointments Commission that recommends judges for promotion.
Rohana, 63, was appointed as 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.