Solicitor-general Terrirudin to be AG, say sources

K. Kabilan

Solicitor-general Ahmad Terrirudin Mohd Salleh will be named attorney-general to replace Idrus Harun, say sources. – Facebook pic, September 1, 2023.

PUTRAJAYA will name solicitor-general (SG) Ahmad Terrirudin Mohd Salleh the new attorney-general (AG) to replace Idrus Harun, said sources.

They said Terrirudin’s appointment will be announced early next week.

“It is certain Terrirudin will be the new AG. He will start officially next week,” a source told The Malaysian Insight.

The sources said Idrus is on leave, with his retirement set to start September 6.

During Idrus’ absence, Terrirudin has been acting AG pending his appointment, said the sources.

Terrirudin is 55, and was appointed SG in March 2022.

“He is qualified to be the new AG as he fulfils criteria in the federal constitution,” said the sources.

Article 145(1) of the federal constitution states the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall, on the advice of the prime minister, appoint one qualified to be a Federal Court judge to the AG position.

Idrus was appointed AG on March 6, 2020, by then prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin, before his tenure was extended for a year in 2022.

Ahmad Terrirudin Mohd Salleh will head the Attorney-General's Chambers as it faces reforms and scrutiny over its management of several high-profile cases. – X pic, September 1, 2023.

When Anwar Ibrahim was elected to office in November, he was expected to replace Idrus with a candidate of his choosing, but the government gave Idrus a six-month extension effective March 6.

Before this, there was talk that several sitting and retired judges were on Anwar’s shortlist.

Idrus himself had come from the bench to become AG.

Terrirudin is being appointed from within the AG’s Chambers (AGC).

“Some people had expressed concern an outsider may be disruptive if appointed as AG,” said a source, referring to political appointments made in recent years.

But Terrirudin’s rise to the top position from second-in-command is not new.

Abdul Kadir Yusof was SG when he assumed the AG post in 1963, while Abu Talib Othman was SG from 1979 to 1980 before he moved up to the AG seat from 1980 to 1993.

More recently, Engku Nor Faizah Engku Atek (2016-2020 SG) was briefly made acting AG between Tommy Thomas and Idrus – from February 28 to March 6, 2020.

Terrirudin will take over the AGC as the institution comes under question over its management of several high-profile cases.

He will be in charge if a proposal to separate the AG’s duties is passed by Anwar’s administration.

The government is looking to separate the AG’s roles as chief legal adviser and head prosecutor.

A source said Terrirudin will take charge as the AGC faces reforms.

“There is talk of institutional reforms, and then there are these high-profile cases where representations had been made for charges to be dropped. And there are also new cases involving political figures from the opposition.

“He will have his hands full when he leads the charge,” said the source. – September 1, 2023.

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