Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat

Tengku Maimun binti Tuan Mat (Jawi: تڠكو ميمون توان مت; born 2 July 1959) is a Malaysian lawyer who has served as the 10th Chief Justice of Malaysia since May 2019.[1] She is the first woman to ascend to the highest judicial office of the country.[2][3]

Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat
تڠكو ميمون توان مت
Tengku Maimun in 2019
10th Chief Justice of Malaysia
Assumed office
2 May 2019
Nominated byMahathir Mohamad
Appointed byAbdullah
Preceded byRichard Malanjum
Personal details
Tengku Maimun binti Tuan Mat

(1959-07-02) 2 July 1959
Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia)
SpouseZamani Ibrahim
Alma materUniversity of Malaya (LLB)

Tengku Maimun was announced as Malaysia's new Chief Justice, succeeding Richard Malanjum who retired in April 2019, in a statement released by the Prime Minister's Department on 2 May 2019.


Tengku Maimun graduated from the University of Malaya with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) (LL.B.) in 1982.[4][1]


Tengku Maimun joined the judicial service in 1982 as a legal officer for the Southern Kelantan Development Board (KESEDAR) and later the Seremban Municipal Council.[4][1]

After a career that included postings at the Attorney General's Chambers, Magistrates and Sessions Courts, Tengku Maimun was appointed as a judicial commissioner in 2006.[5]

Between September 2007 and January 2013, Tengku Maimun served as a High Court judge. Her tenure included postings at the Kuala Lumpur High Court and later at Shah Alam High Court.[5]

Prior to her appointment as a judge of the Federal Court of Malaysia, she was first elevated as a judge of the Court of Appeal of Malaysia. Tengku Maimun served in this position for almost six years, between January 2013 and November 2018.[5]

In November 2018, Tengku Maimun was appointed as a Federal Court judge, the highest court of the country.[6]

Following the ninth Chief Justice's, Richard Malanjum's, compulsory retirement at the age of 66 in April 2019, Tengku Maimun was announced as his successor in May 2019 after the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad, confirmed having received the approval from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King of Malaysia).[2] She became the first woman in history to hold the office of Chief Justice of Malaysia, creating another first for the holder of the top judicial office after Malanjum became the first person from the Borneo states of Malaysia to ascend to the office.[7][8]

Notable cases

In 2013, Tengku Maimun, alongside two other Court of Appeal judges, unanimously reversed a decision by the High Court to convict two former Malaysian police commandos of murder of the Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu.[1] This decision was later reinstated by the Federal Court.[9]

In 2014, Tengku Maimun was the only judge part of a three-person Court of Appeal panel presiding over a high profile child conversion case who dissented to the decision to reverse a mandamus order from the Ipoh High Court to then Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Khalid Abu Bakar, to locate and return M. Indira Gandhi's daughter Prasana Diksa and arrest her ex-husband Mohd Ridzuan.[10] This decision was later overturned by the Federal Court.[11]

In 2016, Tengku Maimun was the sole judge part of a three-person Court of Appeal panel to dissent to the decision to convict then Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Karpal Singh of sedition.[1] After three years, the late politician was unanimously acquitted by a seven-person Federal Court panel.[12][13]

In 2018, a three-person Court of Appeal panel led by Tengku Maimun upheld the decision by the High Court which found Southeast Asia's largest publicly-listed power company Tenaga Nasional guilty of negligence which led to the flash floods at Cameron Highlands in 2013. This was following a lawsuit filed by 100 affected residents from Bertam Valley against the company.[14] She ruled that there was evidence that the company failed to properly maintain the dam at Ringlet.[15]

Tengku Maimun was part of a seven-person Federal Court panel chaired by then Chief Justice, Richard Malanjum, to set aside the stay of proceedings granted by the Court of Appeal in the trial of former Prime Minister Najib Razak. This enabled the trial over the global 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal to finally begin after multiple delays.[16]

On 16 March 2022, a five-member Federal Court bench led by Tengku Maimun has unanimously dismissed former prime minister Najib Razak's appeal to adduce more evidence to the SRC International Sdn Bhd graft case in a bid to overturn his conviction and sentence.[17]


See also


  1. Lim, Ida (3 May 2019). "Who is Tengku Maimun, Malaysia's first female CJ?". Yahoo!. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  2. "Tengku Maimun named new chief justice". Free Malaysia Today. 2 May 2019. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  3. "Tengku Maimun is Malaysia's first woman CJ". The Star (Malaysia). 2 May 2019. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  4. "Tengku Maimun is Malaysia's first woman CJ (updated)". The Star (Malaysia). 2 May 2019. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  5. "YA Dato' Tengku Maimun binti Tuan Mat". Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  6. "2 women among 3 judges promoted to Federal Court, says source". Free Malaysia Today. 24 October 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  7. "Richard Malanjum, the first Chief Justice from the Borneo states". Bernama. New Straits Times. 11 July 2018. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  8. Lim, Ida (2 May 2019). "History made as Tengku Maimun, Malaysia's first female chief justice appointed". Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  9. Lim, Ida (13 January 2015). "In final verdict, two ex-commandos to hang for Altantuya's murder". Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  10. Subramaniam, Pathma (17 December 2014). "Hindu mum Indira fails court bid to recover daughter from Muslim convert ex-husband". Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  11. Palansamy, Yiswaree (29 April 2016). "Federal Court orders IGP to arrest Indira Gandhi's ex-spouse for contempt (VIDEO)". Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  12. "Karpal acquitted posthumously of sedition charge". Nurbaiti Hamdan. The Star (Malaysia). 30 March 2019. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  13. "Federal Court acquits late Karpal Singh of sedition charge". New Straits Times. Bernama. 30 March 2019. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  14. Karim, Khairah N. (2 November 2015). "Bertam Valley residents sue TNB for 2013 floods". Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  15. "Appeals court upholds decision on TNB's negligence in Bertam Valley floods". Malay Mail. Bernama. 11 December 2018. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  16. Lim, Ida (27 March 2019). "Federal Court lifts stay in Najib's RM42m case". Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  17. Rashid, Hidir Reduan Abdul (16 March 2022). "Apex court rejects Najib's bid to adduce fresh SRC evidence". Malaysiakini.
  18. "CJ, AG Tommy Thomas, IGP among those awarded 'Tan Sri' in conjunction with Agong's birthday". Bernama. Malay Mail. 9 September 2019. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  19. "King confers 'Tun' title to Tengku Maimun, Arshad Ayub". Bernama. 17 August 2020. Retrieved 17 August 2020.
  20. "Tengku Maimun, Dr Arshad Ayub dahului senarai penerima darjah kebesaran, pingat" (in Malay). Berita Harian. 17 August 2020. Retrieved 17 August 2020.
  21. "Tengku Maimun, wanita pertama Ketua Hakim Negara kini bergelar 'Tun'" (in Malay). Astro Awani. 17 August 2020. Retrieved 17 August 2020.
  22. "Tengku Maimun, Arshad Ayub dahului senarai penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Pingat sempena Keputeraan Agong" (in Malay). Bernama. 17 August 2020. Retrieved 17 August 2020.
  23. "SEMAKAN PENERIMA DARJAH KEBESARAN, BINTANG DAN PINGAT". Prime Minister's Department. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  24. "Abdullah heads honours list". The Star (Malaysia). 30 March 2006. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  25. "Kelantan MB heads state awards list". The Star (Malaysia). Bernama. 12 November 2016. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  26. Muzamir, Muhammad Yusri (12 July 2019). "Ketua Hakim Negara dahului penerima darjah kebesaran Pulau Pinang, esok" (in Malay). Berita Harian. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
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