PSM leader: RCI for ex-AG’s book waste of time and money

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Setting up a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to probe former attorney-general Tommy Thomas’ memoir is a waste of time and public funds, a PSM leader has said.

According to the party’s deputy chairperson S Arutchelvan, the government should instead concentrate on dealing with other more important issues at hand and move on.

“It is baffling that the cabinet has decided on this (RCI) when there are so many other pressing matters. If the people are not happy, they can file a defamation suit, which has already been initiated by many parties.

“If the RCI talks about the conduct of an AG, then all previous AGs have also made decisions,” Arutchelvan said in a statement today.

He was responding to the announcement by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Azalina Othman Said yesterday that the cabinet has agreed with a proposal to set up an RCI after reviewing proposals made by the special task force that probed Thomas’ memoir.

Azalina noted that the RCI will have a broader scope than the task force’s recommendations.

Arutchelvan questioned what purpose would the RCI serve, if it was about reform, as there is already a ministry to deal with it.

“So why this RCI? If it is just to give (Umno president Ahmad) Zahid (Hamidi) a feel-good factor before the Umno general assembly, I thought this government was about unity and moving on.


“So please govern and stop wasting our money,” Arutchelvan concluded.

The special task force to probe Thomas’ memoir, titled ‘My Story: Justice in the Wilderness’, was set up in December 2021 and was headed by former Sarawak attorney-general Fong Joo Chung.

Thomas’ memoir covered his stint as attorney-general from 2018 to 2020. Among others, he addressed the appointment of judges, alleged interference by the executive in the judiciary, and claims of selective prosecution.

The task force had recommended that Thomas be probed for sedition and breaking government secrecy laws, and also suggested that Thomas himself interfered in judicial appointments.

It also recommended institutional reforms, such as making the Judicial Appointments Commission free from the influence of the prime minister – a proposal that was also made by the Conference of Rulers last November.

Then prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, in the prelude to the 15th general election, had asked BN to use the report as political ammo.

Meanwhile, Thomas is seeking to strike down the report, arguing that the task force was an “illegal body”. – Malaysiakini

Earlier report:

Jan 11, Azalina: RCI on task force’s findings into Tommy Thomas’ book