• Saya datang dalam keadaan bersih – Zaki
©Malaysiakini (Used by permission)
Prominent lawyer Zaki Azmi today became the first person to be appointed straight to the Federal Court, bypassing the convention of first serving in the High Court and the Court of Appeal.
The 62–year–old lawyer with close ties to ruling party Umno – he was the party’s legal adviser – received his appointment letter from Yang di–Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin this morning at Istana Negara.
Zaki now holds the distinction of being the first lawyer to be appointed straight to sit in the highest court in the country.
Before this, only lawyer Gopal Sri Ram had bypassed serving in the High Court
when he was appointed straight to the Court of Appeal.
Zaki, whose father Azmi Mohamed was Lord President from 1966 to 1974, has been a consultant with prominent legal firm since last September.
A member of the world renown Lincoln’s Inn, Zaki was called to the English Bar in 1969.
More recently, he was a member of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Police Force which was formed in 2004.
He had also served as Umno Disciplinary (Technical) Committee chairman, Umno Selection Committee secretary and a deputy chairperson of Umno’s Disciplinary Board Appeal panel.
He had stepped down from these posts in 2005 following his controversial divorce from his second wife.
Zaki had married Nor Hayati Yahaya, 32, in May 2005 and the marriage had fallen apart after three months.
The duo had married in a ceremony presided by a kadi from Thailand and both of them had agreed to burn the original marriage certificate to hide the matter from his first wife.
They also reached an agreement before the marriage that if the relationship soured, they would part ways.
Since then, Zaki claimed that he had received various threats from Nor Hayati, who, among others, allegedly asked him for RM10 million.
She had also allegedly urged him to register their marriage, failing which, she threatened to tarnish his reputation.
Zaki is also a member of the Abandoned Housing Project Scheme and National Sports Council adviser. He also sits in the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission.
Along with Zaki, another judge – Zulkifli Ahmad Makinudin – was also promoted to the Federal Court.
Mizan also presented letters of appointment to 10 High Court judges.
The new High Court judges were Mohd Safian Abd Razak, Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, Abdul Alim Abdullah, Datuk Ghazali Cha, John Louis O’Hara, Rosnaini Saub, Lim Yee Lan, Suraya Othman, Datuk Abd Rahim Uda and Noor Azian Shaari.
New Court of Appeal President Abdul Hamid Mohamad and Chief Judge of Malaya Alauddin Mohd Sheriff also received their appointment letters today from the king.
Abdul Hamid, 65, succeeds Abdul Malek Ahmad who died of brain cancer on June 1 while Alauddin, 61, takes over as Chief Judge of Malaya from Chief Justice Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim who had been acting in that capacity since Norma Yaakob retired on Jan 5.