"Two years. If you don't meet the mark, you go out. Previously, the probation period could be extended. Now, no more. Maximum two years," he told reporters after 10 judicial commissioners took their oath upon confirmation as High Court judges.
The judges are Datuk Rozana Ali Yusoff, 58; Abu Bakar Katar, 59; Hayatul Akmal Abdul Aziz, 57; Datuk Faizah Jamaludin, 52; Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid, 55; Wong Chee Lin, 58; Darryl Goon Siew Chye, 62; Ismail Ibrahim, 57; Dean Wayne Daly, 54; and Celestina Stuel Galid, 50.
He said that in the past, JCs have been on probation for between three and six years, which was rather long.
Malanjum said the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC), of which he is the chairman, recommends candidates for promotion based on their ability to write judgments, judicial temperament and disposal of court cases.
He said six JCs "did not cross the line" because this time the JAC was strict in its vetting exercise.
Earlier, in his speech, he apologised to some of the JCs who were on probation for more than two years but were not confirmed as High Court judges.
"Maximum two years. If you don't meet the target of being a judge within the two years, sorry, you either go back to practice or retire," he said.
Malanjum also advised judges to refrain from using transparency to destroy the institution.
"Not that we must be opaque all the time. The institution survives on public confidence," he said.
His advice to the JCs who were confirmed as judges today: "My humble advice is to always be honest and humble. Just because you're a judge, you don't have to be proud or bergaya (boastful). Live honestly.
"If you live honestly, nobody will suspect you. And always follow your conscience because your conscience will always lead you in a good way," he said.
Malanjum also said that judges must not live in their own world otherwise they would not sync with the society.