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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Background on CJ of the Federal Court

Ahmad Fairuz Abdul Halim

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tun Ahmad Fairuz bin Sheikh Abdul Halim (born November 1, 1941) is the current Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Malaysia. He has held that position since 2003. In August 2007, he courted controversy by calling for the abolishment of the English Common Law to be replaced by Islamic Syariah Law. In September 2007, he was implicated in a 'judicial fixing' scandal, resulting in numerous calls for him to step down.[1]

Early life and education

Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim was born in Alor Setar, Kedah on 1 November 1941. He received his Bachelor of Laws from the National University of Singapore and later obtained his Master of Laws in International and Comparative Laws from the University of Brussels, Belgium.


He joined the Malaysian Judicial and Legal Service on 4 April 1967 as a Cadet Legal Officer and held various positions such as President of Sessions Court, State Legal Advisor and Chairman of the Advisory Board, Prime Minister's Department. On 1 December 1988 he was appointed Judicial Commissioner of High Court Malaya and was later appointed a High Court Judge. On 1 December 1995 he was elevated as a Court of Appeal Judge until his appointment as a Federal Court Judge on 1 September 2000. [1]

Lingam Tape 'Judicial Fixing' Scandal

See video clip: "Lingam Tape".

On September 19, 2007, online daily Malaysiakini broke a story on a tape released by former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, where senior lawyer VK Lingam was seen talking to someone believed to be the Chief Justice Ahmad Fairuz.[2] The grainy eight-minute video footage was taken in 2002 at Lingam’s Kelana Jaya house. At that time, Ahmad Fairuz was the Chief Judge of Malaya (judiciary's No. 3 post).

The video showed Lingam expressing concern that the outgoing CJ Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah was moving his 'men' into top judiciary posts. The conversation revolved around the urgent need to get Ahmad Fairuz appointed as Court of Appeal President (No. 2) and then Chief Justice (No. 1). Lingam expressed his plan to get tycoon Vincent Tan, a close ally of then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, and Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, a minister in PM's Department to talk to Mahathir on the appointment of judges. Allegedly, this was in return for Ahmad Fairuz's "suffering" in the election petition cases in the past where Ahmad Fairuz had ruled against the Opposition.

In response, the Malaysian Government has set up a panel made of two senior retired judges and a former opposition politician to probe the tape's authenticity. Ahmad Fairuz has denied his involvement, and Anwar responded that he "would love to see him (Ahmad Fairuz) defend himself in the dock as to whether he was lying."[3]


He is married to Toh Puan Datin Sri Mazni bt Mohd Noor and they have two children.

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