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Friday, August 26, 2011

Zaki not extending term six months beyond retirement

Sulaiman Kamal | 10:12 PM | | | Best Blogger Tips

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PUTRAJAYA - Chief Justice Tun Zaki Azmi, who is set to retire as the country's top judiciary officer next month, will not extend his term beyond the mandatory retirement age.
"I promised my wife that I would not stay longer than necessary," he said.
Additionally, Zaki told Bernama in an exclusive interview that he has full confidence that his successor "will be able to run the show" just as well, if not better.

He is due to retire on Sept 12 when he turns 66.

It has become common for a retiring Chief Justice to have his term extended for six months after the mandatory retirement age.

Article 125(1) of the Federal Constitution states that a judge of the Federal Court shall hold office until he reaches the age of 66 years or for an additional six months after reaching retirement age, with approval of Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

When asked about his plans after retiring, he said he would concentrate on the business he had built as a lawyer prior to his appointment to the judiciary, though Zaki was quick to assert, "Definitely, I will not go back practising."

Asked about a message for his successor, he said he generally would want to convey the need to continually improve the judiciary.

Zaki said, however, that he would rather present his message in private, saying he did not believe in passing along a public message.
Since taking over as Chief Justice in October 2008 he has been credited with having transformed the judiciary, including in the implementation of modern technologies and alternative ways to solve disputes, such as through the mediation process.
The changes proved to be successful, resulting in a drastic drop in backlogged cases.

Asked how he felt about leaving the judiciary, Zaki, who became a grandfather 10 days ago following the birth of his first granddaughter, said it saddened him in some ways while in other ways he was happy.

"Sad (because) I have been here for five years, I've made a lot of friends here and with the judges.

"I am happy, because I'm leaving the judiciary better than when I took over," noted Zaki.

The proud grandfather could not repress his joy over his newborn granddaughter, Sofia Azmi Razif, as he displayed photographs of the baby on his iPad tablet.

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