History to be made with 3 women judges promoted to Federal Court

Zaleha Yusuf, Zabariah Mohd Yusof and Hasnah Mohammed Hashim will be elevated to the Federal Court today, sources say. (kehakiman.gov.my pic)

PETALING JAYA: Several firsts will be created when four women judges take their oaths of office at the Palace of Justice this afternoon, sources say.

Federal Court judge Rohana Yusuf will be elevated as Court of Appeal president following the retirement of Ahmad Maarop on Nov 24.

She is the first woman to hold the position since the inception of the Court of Appeal in 1994.

Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat had also appointed Rohana, 63, as acting Court of Appeal president since Nov 25.

Tengku Maimun herself created history in May when she became the first woman to be made the nation’s top judge.

Sources also told FMT that three women from the Court of Appeal – Zaleha Yusuf, Zabariah Mohd Yusof and Hasnah Mohammed Hashim – will be elevated to the Federal Court.

“For the first time, the apex court will have a total of six women judges,” the sources said.

Apart from Tengku Maimun and Rohana, the other woman judge is Nallini Pathmanathan.

Zaleha and her husband Ramly Ali are also the first couple to have started as judicial commissioners before being elevated to the Federal Court. Ramly retired in August.

High Court judges Hadhariah Syed Ismail, M Nantha Balan and Abu Bakar Jais will be promoted as Court of Appeal judges.

Judicial commissioners Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah and Azmi Abdullah will also be confirmed as judges.

All the judges will receive their instruments of office from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at Istana Negara this morning before they take their judicial oaths.

Rohana will take her oath of office before the seniormost Court of Appeal judges. Zaleha, Zabariah and Hasnah will do so before Tengku Maimun.

Tun Abdul Majid and Azmi will take their oaths of allegiance before Chief Judge of Malaya Azahar Mohamed.