Damian S. L. Yeo & L. C. Goh (DSLY)
No. 2007, Lorong Sidang Omar, off Jalan Penghulu Abbas, Bukit Baru, Hang Tuah Jaya, 75100 Melaka

Tel : 06-2347011
& 06-2347012
Fax: 06-2347022


Saturday, June 2, 2007

The Passing of a great Judge

31st May 2007, 11.30pm, the legal fraternity mourns the passing of a great and admirable judge. A man whom I regard not just a judge but a friend. I remember receiving a private call from him in my office to inquire about a case involving his nephew. His call is basically a concern uncle nothing to do about influencing the administration of justice. I can assure readers that he is an upright man who deserved to be called righteous and independent.

A man of integrity who have uphold and observe the law of this country. Swore to protect the Constitution. And interpreting it without fear and favour. Appointed as Court of Appeal President in 2004. Second in command of the Judiciary. An excellent parliamentary draftsman, carefully writing the laws of this country.

Borrowing from the Malaysian Bar website, Tan Sri Datuk Abdul Malek was born in Singapore on 28 July 1944. He had his primary school education at the McNair School and Secondary school education at the Raffles Institution in Singapore. Qualified as a barrister-at-law, he read law at the Inner Temple, London and was called to the English Bar in November 1965 after passing his Bar Finals before reaching the full age of 21 in May 1965. He obtained his Certificate in Legislative Drafting from the University of Ottawa, Canada in 1973.

He began his career in the Judicial Legal Service as a Magistrate in Kuala Lumpur in February 1966 and from there on he served in various positions such as Deputy Public Prosecutor, President Sessions Court, Senior President Sessions Court and Deputy Parliamentary Draftsman in Kangar, Melaka, Kuantan, Butterworth, Kota Bharu, Penang, Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur and from October 1982 to December 1984 he was Parliamentary Draftsman.

At 40, he was one of the youngest to be elevated to the High Court Bench on 1 January 1985, and had served in Kota Bharu, Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur. On 1 December 1995 he was elevated as a Court of Appeal Judge. On 1 May 1999 he was appointed Judge of the Federal Court Malaysia. On 12 July 2004 he was appointed President of the Court of Appeal, Malaysia. The Bar Council Malaysia in welcoming the appointment said:

“Justice Malek Ahmad has in his many years on the Bench demonstrated the right judicial qualities and temperament. He has exhibited judicial independence and integrity, and enjoys widespread respect from the Bar and those who are familiar with the functioning of the judiciary in Malaysia. His proven ability, reputation, standing, seniority and experience (all of which are criteria which the Bar consistently advocates to be relevant to judicial appointments and promotions) make him well suited for this important position. It remains for him in the years to come to draw on these qualities in introducing the necessary changes and improvements to the system in a way that will restore public confidence in the judiciary. This appointment augurs well for the future of the judicial system in Malaysia."

In 2005, he made history being the first and only Malaysian to be appointed an Honorary Overseas Bencher of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, London. With that, he joined the ranks of distinguished international jurists as Richard Goldstone of South Africa, Patrick Chan of Hong Kong, Yong Pung How of Singapore and three members of the US Supreme Court, Anthony Kennedy, Stephen Breyer and Antonia Scalia.

Married to Puan Sri Datin Hajah Roziah binti Haji Sheikh Mohamed and they have six children.

My condolence to the family of the late Tan Sri. May he rest in peace.

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