KUALA LUMPUR, May 3 — Former top civil servants’ group G25 has lauded today the appointment of Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat as the new chief justice (CJ), saying it sends several strong messages, including the triumph of integrity and professionalism.
In a press statement, the group said Tengku Maimun’s appointment marks the first time a woman has been appointed to the highest judicial position in the Muslim world, and therefore showed Putrajaya’s commitment to gender equality.
“G25 wishes to congratulate the Judicial Appointment Commission and the government for this appointment. It sends a strong message that the appointing authorities support gender equality,” the group said.
“It also sends an equally strong signal that integrity and professionalism will ultimately triumph over all else, especially patronage. This is a welcome return to the principle of meritocracy in appointments to public office.”
It added that the appointment sends a message to the world that Malaysia is progressive in its attitude towards justice.
Congratulating her on her new role, the group also voiced its confidence that Tengku Maimun will be able to carry out her duties with fairness and integrity, as several lawyers have spoken highly of her competence.
G25 also asserted that the judiciary must serve as the defender of the Federal Constitution against abuse of power by the legislative and executive arms of the government.
“We G25 hope that the new chief justice will lead in upholding the freedoms and liberties of the people and defend the multicultural and diverse character of our country to ensure peace and prosperity for all Malaysians,” it said.
The Prime Minister’s Office made the announcement of the historic appointment yesterday, after several weeks of speculation over who would be the next chief justice.
Tengku Maimun was last year reported to be aged 59, which means that she will be able to serve for some years before reaching the judges’ retirement age of 66 years old.