After JAC post, PM appoints ex-judge to head competition commission

Former judge Datuk Seri Hishamudin Yunus was appointed by the prime minister to head the Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC), on top of his recent appointment to the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC). ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Former judge Datuk Seri Hishamudin Yunus was appointed by the prime minister to head the Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC), on top of his recent appointment to the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC). ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 28 ― Former judge Datuk Seri Hishamudin Yunus has now been appointed by the prime minister to be the chairman of the Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC).

This comes just a few weeks after his recent appointment to a panel that recommends prospective new judges or judges' promotions.

Hishamudin, a retired Court of Appeal judge, received his letter of appointment from the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Saifuddin Nasution at the ministry's Putrajaya office yesterday evening.

His appointment under the Competition Commission Act 2010 took effect on September 5.

“Dato’ Seri Hishamudin will serve his term for a period of three years,” the law firm Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill said in a statement released today.

Hishamudin, who is a consultant at the law firm, will be replacing Datuk Che Mohamad Zulkifly Jusoh who joined MyCC in 2017 as the head of the commission.

According to the law firm, the MyCC which was formed in 2011 is an independent body that enforces the Competition Act 2010 with the goal of protecting the competitive process for the benefit of businesses, consumers and the economy.

The MyCC's website states that the commission safeguards the process of free and fair competition in commercial markets for the benefit of consumer welfare, efficiency of entreprises and the overall development of the economy.

It also states that the MyCC has the powers to probe complaints of anti-competitive behaviours, carry out market reviews and impose penalties on companies that breach the competition law.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Saifuddin Nasution (third right) presenting the letter of appointment to Datuk Seri Hishamudin Yunus for his new position as MyCC chairman. September 27, 2018. ― Picture courtesy of Lee Hishammuddin Allen and Gledhill
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Saifuddin Nasution (third right) presenting the letter of appointment to Datuk Seri Hishamudin Yunus for his new position as MyCC chairman. September 27, 2018. ― Picture courtesy of Lee Hishammuddin Allen and Gledhill

On September 14, the law firm had also announced Hishamudin's appointment to the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC), with the appointment said to take effect September 4.

The law firm had then highlighted that the JAC's recommendation for Hishamudin himself to be promoted to the Federal Court was rejected in 2013 by then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. It is unclear why the rejection was made.

JAC was formed in 2009 to ensure that there would be no “bias and prejudice” in the selection process of candidates for judicial positions for the prime minister to consider.

Hishamudin is one of four new appointees to the JAC who will be serving a two-year term from September 4 to September 3, 2020.

He has both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in law from the London School of Economics and Political Science, had throughout his legal career in the Malaysian Judicial and Legal Services served in various roles such as the drafting of laws and advising state governments.

These include acting as deputy public prosecutor, deputy parliamentary draftsman, state legal adviser, president of the Sessions Court and chief registrar of the Supreme Court (now known as the Federal Court).

His years of service at the High Court started with his appointment as a judicial commissioner in 1992.

He became a High Court judge in 1994 until his promotion 15 years later, in 2009, to be a judge at the Court of Appeal, where he remained until his retirement in 2015.

According to the law firm’s website, Hishamudin has written nearly 750 judgments in his over 20 years of service in the High Court and Court of Appeal.

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