By Mahadhir bin Monihuldin
GOMBAK, 16 October 2017: IIUM Rector, Prof. Dato’ Sri Dr. Zaleha Kamarudin, has been appointed as the Judge of the Syariah Court of Appeal of the state of Terengganu, the first for a woman to be appointed to such post.
Berita Harian reported that the Sultan of Terengganu, Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin officially consented to hand the letter of appointment to Dato’ Sri Zaleha during a brief ceremony at the Eastern Palace (Istana Syarqiyyah) in Chendering, Terengganu this morning.
Among those who attended the ceremony included the Menteri Besar of Terengganu, Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abd Rahman, the Speaker of Terengganu State Legislative Assembly, Datuk Mohd Zuber Embong, and Terengganu Chief Judge of Syarie, Wan Mohd Zakri Wan Mohd.
The announcement of Dato’ Sri Zaleha’s appointment was earlier made by Wan Mohd Zakri at the dinner on the occasion of Zaleha’s appointment and the appointment of a judge for the Syariah lower court.
He told the media that the appointment of Dato’ Sri Zaleha was officially commissioned by Sultan Mizan.
Wan Mohd Zakri said, as the new Judge of the Syariah Court of Appeal, Dato’ Sri Zaleha will not only be hearing appeal cases, but will also have the authority to cancel out or reduce punishments sanctioned by the Syariah court.
“Dato’ Sri Zaleha will also be allowed to authorise a retrial of an appeal case after receiving the appeal from a respondent,” he said.
Dato’ Sri Zaleha, who has more than 30 years of judicial experience, shared her thoughts on her appointment saying, “My appointment opens the doors for more women to take the challenge and succeed.”
“I will discharge my duties fairly and carry out my tasks to the expectations of my bosses,” she said.
Her new appointment as Judge of the Syariah Court of Appeal will not affect her role as the Rector of IIUM because the appeal cases involving divorce settlements, inheritance as well as child custody rights, will only be in session every Sunday of the week.
“I would like to express my utmost gratitude to the state government and the state’s Syariah Judiciary Department for the confidence that has been given to me,” said Dato’ Sri Zaleha.
Dato’ Sri Zaleha would serve a three-year term and could be reappointed, according to media reports.***