Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat has made history as Malaysia’s first woman Chief Justice.
Tengku Maimun took over the position as the country’s 16th Chief Justice after her predecessor Richard Malanjum retired from the position. The official statement was made on the 2nd of May by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, the Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the Conference of Rulers. Although there were some arguments against her appointment by certain parties, her achievements throughout her career showed that she had proven her worth. According to Datuk Abdul Fareed, the Malaysian Bar president, her appointment demonstrated that gender should never be a consideration over merits and one’s capabilities.
So without further ado, let’s get to know our First Female Chief Justice a little better, shall we?
#1 Extending retirement
After graduating from Universiti Malaya in 1982 with a law degree, she began her career as a legal officer on the South Kelantan Development Board in the same year. Even though the 59-year-old mother of four is turning 60 this July, Tengku Maimun is not giving up serving the country just yet. With her new appointment as Chief Justice, it looks like this Kelantan native can continue to kick ass for another six years and eight months before she is due for retirement.
#2 Lucky number 16
Truly an inspiration, Tengku Maimun’s appointment is indeed a milestone for women and the rest of the nation. She is now the 16th person to hold the honourable position since 1963.
#3 Behind some of the High-profile Cases in Malaysia
Who can ever forget one of the most political scandals about the death of the Mongolian model, Altantuya Shaariibu back in 2013? I know I didn’t! An unresolved case which involved many high-profile individuals like the Ex-Prime Minister Datuk Najib Razak, the Ex-First Lady Datin Sri Rosmah Mansur and many more. Even though the news was the talk of the town for quite some time, I never knew that Datuk Tengku Maimun was one of the Court of Appeal Judges to unanimously reversed the High Court’s decision to convict two former Malaysian police commandos. They were charged with murdering Shaariibu but due to that appeal, the decision was taken over by the Federal Court instead.
Last year, Tengku Maimun charged Tenaga Nasional, Southeast Asia’s largest power company, for being guilty of negligence. The lawsuit was filed in 2013 by 100 affected residents of Bertam Valley against the company for causing flash floods in Cameron Highlands. The supporting evidence proved that the company didn’t properly maintain the dam at Ringlet, Pahang, and contributed to her decision.
More recently, she was part of a seven-man Federal Court panel to enable the trial of 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) after several attempts of being delayed. The charge was made over ex-prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak for having over RM42 million worth of funds registered under the company.
Tengku Maimun’s historical appointment caused many supporters to take to social media to offer their congratulations.
#4 Acknowledging her supporters
A moment to be proud of!!! Congratulations Yang Arif Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat on this appointment. A historical milestone for Malaysia indeed. https://t.co/pZX6Gv63ie
— #HaramkanNikahBawahUmur #EndChildMarriage (@rozana_isa) 2 May 2019
Federal Court judge Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat has been appointed as the Chief Justice effective today. pic.twitter.com/FtdVo7qMCd
— Jaya_Shanmugam (@JayaShanmugam63) 2 May 2019
— Dunya Maumoon (@dunyamaumoon) 3 May 2019
Right here in Malaysia, we are blessed to have many empowering women such as Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah, YB Hannah Yeoh, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Ungku Zeti Akhtar and Datuk Tengku Maimun lead the way in inspiring us all and ushering our country towards a better future. However, we realise that the fight against gender discrimination continues to exist. We are confident that Tengku Maimun will carry this position with dignity and courage.
Again, congratulations Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat!