After serving 27 years in the judiciary, Tan Sri Richard Malanjum retired as the Chief Justice of Malaysia at the age of 66. He served in the position for nine months until his retirement on April 12.
After weeks of delay, Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat was appointed as Malanjum’s successor on May 2; making her the country’s first female Chief Justice.
According to the top issues of Tengku Maimun in the past month, the media highlighted on her gender instead of what she could bring to the table in terms of her abilities and professionalism. This can be seen in – ‘cipta sejarah wanita pertama’, ‘woman to take on the role’ and ‘first female CJ appointment’.
On the contrary, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad firmly stated that the new Chief Justice was chosen for her qualifications and not because of her gender or race.
Additionally, the appointment of Tengku Maimun also raised speculations in the social media. Back in 2013, Tengku Maimun was involved in Anwar Ibrahim’s second sodomy trial. She was one of the three Court of Appeal judges appointed to hear Anwar’s appeal to dismiss the sodomy charge against him. Then, Tengku Maimun adopted the findings of the Federal Court that Anwar has homosexual tendencies.
After GE-14, the then Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V pardoned Anwar over his second sodomy charge. He was also reported by the media as the eighth Malaysia Prime Minister. Will the appointment of Tengku Maimun as Chief Justice disrupt Anwar from succeeding Tun M?