Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Abd Aziz also said there was nothing wrong with his quick move upwards.
“There is no law against fast track appointments nor is it unconstitutional,” he said at the Parliament lobby yesterday.
Zaki’s appointment was announced by the Prime Minister on Wednesday.
He takes over from Datuk Abdul Hamid Mohamad who has been appointed the country’s new Chief Justice following the retirement of Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim on Oct 3.
He was earlier appointed Federal Court Judge in September.
Nazri said, as a lawyer, Zaki was invited to sit in the disciplinary panel of Umno because he was a lawyer with integrity.
On his background as a lawyer, Nazri said Zaki was not the first legal practitioner to hold a high position in the judiciary.
Nazri said former Chief Justice of the Federal Court Tun Dzaiddin Abdullah, who retired on March 14, 2003, was the first legal practitioner to become a Chief Justice of the Federal Court.
Later, Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh welcomed Abdul Hamid’s appointment as the new CJ.
“We have confidence that he can help restore public confidence in the judiciary,” he said, adding that Abdul Hamid had inherited a judiciary plagued by allegations of corruption.
On Zaki's appointment, Karpal, who is DAP national chairman and a veteran lawyer, said it created a bit of apprehension among lawyers, given his political ties.
PAS Youth Chief Salahuddin Ayub expressed surprise over Zaki’s appointment and said it should have been based on rank and file.