Election Commission chief’s Elder Brother is Malaysia’s New AG

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PUTRAJAYA, 6 Mac 2020 – The Yang di-Pertuan Agong has assented to appointing Federal Court judge Idrus Harun as the new attorney-general. The Prime Minister’s Department announced that Idrus will serve for two years effective today.

He replaces Tommy Thomas who resigned last week.

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Idrus was elevated to the Federal Court in November 2018. Prior to that, he was the solicitor-general at the Attorney-General’s Chambers, and legal advisor to the Election Commission and MACC.

He is also the elder brother to Election Commission chief Azhar Harun.

Previously in 2018, former Federal Court Judge Gopal Sri Ram had suggested that Idrus would be a better pick for the attorney-general post than Thomas, and claimed other former judges shared the same view.

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This is due to Idrus’ experience working in the AGC, before being “sidelined” for the attorney-general’s post through the appointment of Mohd Apandi Ali.

“(Idrus would not be suitable) to be a judge but I think he would make a good AG in line with the constitutional requirement,” Gopal said at the time.

“He has been sidelined and placed in the judiciary by being appointed a judge at the Court of Appeal. However, he is suitable for the post,” the senior lawyer added.

Idrus was also being considered for appointment as chief justice last year, but Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat was ultimately chosen instead.

As federal court judge, Idrus was among the panel that ruled against a bid by Iban villagers to review a previous ruling that their native customs have no force of law in Sarawak.

He was also among four judges who ruled that a Muslim child conceived out of wedlock cannot bear his father’s name, while three of his colleagues dissented. – Malaysiakini

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