She is Malaysia’s first female Chief Justice and the first to reject a former prime minister’s appeal at the Federal Court, the highest court in Malaysia’s judiciary system.
Leading a five-member bench today, 23 August, Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat upheld Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s sentence in the SRC International case and sent him to jail.
The highly-anticipated case came to a conclusion today, with the Federal Court upholding the former prime minister’s sentence.
His 12-year jail term will start immediately today, and he will be fined RM210 million.
Below is a brief introduction of Tengku Maimun:
Born in Kota Bharu, Kelantan on 2 July 1959, the Chief Justice read law at the University of Malaya and graduated with honours in 1982, according to the official website of the Judicial Appointments Commission.
She is a mother of four.
Her Ladyship began her career in the legal field as a legal officer at the Southern Kelantan Development Board (KESEDAR) in 1982.
Two years later, she worked as a legal officer at the Municipal Council of Seremban, Negeri Sembilan.
By 1986, Her Ladyship joined the Judicial and Legal Service as an Assistant Parliamentary Draftsman at the Drafting Division of the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
Following that, she served as:
– a Magistrate at the Port Dickson Court,
– a Federal Counsel at the Kuala Terengganu Legal Aid Bureau,
– a Senior Assistant Registrar at the High Court at Seremban,
– a Deputy Registrar at the High Court of Kuala Lumpur,
– a Special Officer to the Right Honourable Chief Judge of Malaya,
– a Special Officer to the Right Honourable Chief Justice,
– a Judge of the Sessions Court at Kuala Lumpur cum Special Officer to the Right Honourable Chief Justice, and
– the Registrar of the High Court of Malaya cum Chief Registrar of the Federal Court of Malaysia.
Tengku Maimun’s final posting in the Judicial and Legal Service was as the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court of Malaysia from 2005 to 2006.
According to the Office of the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court of Malaysia, the role of the Chief Registrar’s office is “to implement the administration of justice in accordance with the power as provided under the law” and “to protect the judicial independence in interpreting laws passed by the legislative”.
At the age of 46, on 2 October 2006, Tengku Maimun was appointed as a Judicial Commissioner of the High Court of Malaya of Kuala Lumpur.
Less than a year later, on 5 September 2007, she was elevated as a Judge of the High Court of Malaya at Kuala Lumpur. She also had the experience of serving as a Judge of the High Court of Malaya at Shah Alam, Selangor.
Six years later, on 8 January 2013, Tengku Maimun was appointed as a Judge of the Court of Appeal, the second highest court in Malaysia’s judiciary system.
Finally, on 2 May 2019, she made history by becoming Malaysia’s first female Chief Justice.
Over the years, she was conferred many royal titles, with the latest being Darjah Seri Setia Mahkota, which carries the title ‘Tun’, in 2020.