Datuk Idrus Harun was promoted to solicitor-general in April last year (left). Datin Zaleha Yusof will focus on research in domestic issues.
PUTRAJAYA: For the first time, the country will have two solicitors-general.
An official said in view of their department’s expanded workload, the S-Gs were needed to help the attorney-general in his duties.
This is especially so in the conduct of prosecution cases, civil litigation and in planning and research activities.
"With the distribution of responsibilities, the A-G can focus on other areas of the law," the official said.
These include international affairs, legal advisory services, law revision and reform, and the management of the A-G’s Chambers.
Zaleha, 51, is expected to concentrate on research in domestic and international issues.
A parliamentary draftsman for a year before her current promotion, Zaleha joined the chambers in 1979.
Among the key posts she held were those of Terengganu state legal adviser and commissioner of the law revision and law reform division in the chambers.
She is married to High Court judge Datuk Ramly Ali.
Idrus, 52, was promoted to S-G in April last year.
The Federal Constitution states that the solicitor-general is empowered to perform any of the functions that can be performed by the attorney-general.
Under the Criminal Procedure Code, the S-G shall have all powers of a deputy public prosecutor and shall act as a public prosecutor in the absence of the attorney- general.
The country has had 15 solicitors-general since A.D. Farell was appointed to the post in 1955.
Among the notables were former Lord Presidents Tun Mohamed Suffian Hashim (1959-1961) and Tun Salleh Abas (1966-1979), former Law Minister Tan Sri Abdul Kadir Yusof (1963) and retired A-G Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman (1979-1980).
Meanwhile, Zaleha’s deputy, Datuk Nor Bee Ariffin has been promoted to parliamentary draftsman.
Civil division head Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah, who is leading the prosecution in the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial, has been upgraded from JUSA B to A.
Tun Majid has been in his current position since August last year.
Other key promotions are:
• Datuk Engku Nor Faizah Engku Alek (Perak state legal adviser to deputy parliamentary draftsman I)
• Hanipah Farikullah (deputy commissioner of the law revision and law reform division to head of advisory division)
• Datuk Illani Mohamed Ibrahim (Malacca state legal adviser to deputy parliamentary draftsman II)
• Siti Zawahir Mohamed (unit head at drafting division to senior deputy chief (Syariah) advisory division)
• Siti Zainab Omar (municipal unit head, advisory division, to Malacca state legal adviser)
• Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid (Terengganu state legal adviser to Perak state legal adviser)
• Datuk Che Mohd Ruzima Ghazali (Kelantan state legal adviser to senior federal counsel to the Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications)
• Azlan Abdul Halim (senior federal counsel to the Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications to Kelantan state legal adviser).