PUTRAJAYA: The Malaysian judiciary made history when four women judges were simultaneously elevated to the country’s Federal and Appellate courts.
The four are Datuk Aliazatul Khair Osman Khairuddin and Datuk Suraya Othman (Federal Court judges); and Datuk Yeoh Wee Siam and Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang (Court of Appeal judges).
Chief Justice Tun Md Raus Sharif said their elevation was not to fulfil a quota of women at the Federal and Appeal Courts, but rather was based on their outstanding performances.
He said this also proves that appointments in the country’s judiciary are not prejudiced against women, but are based on merit, regardless of gender.
“Currently, the Federal Court consists of 12 men judges and three women judges, but with Aliazatul’s appointment, we now have four.
“At the Court of Appeal, we previously had 14 men judges and 12 women judges. The appointment of three more women judges means we now have 15 of them.
“This means that more than half of the judges in the Appeal Court are women,” Raus said at the appointment ceremony at Istana Negara yesterday.
The four judges took their oath in the presence of Raus; Court of Appeal president, Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin; Chief Justice of Malaya Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop; and Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum.
Raus said the appointments bring with them tremendous responsibilities and challenges, and that public confidence towards the judicial system could be improved with integrity, knowledge and expertise.