Azalina: RCI into Thomas’ book is not about revenge

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However, Azalina said the RCI is a better avenue to look into Thomas’ book as compared to a special task force.

The Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into Tommy Thomas’ memoir is not to find fault or enact revenge against the former attorney-general, stressed Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Azalina Othman Said.

“This is not the royal commission of blaming, punishing, or imprisonment. I have mentioned in my statement that no one is looking for anyone’s fault,” she told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today.

Bernama

“How can it be revenge if you don’t know what you want to revenge on?” she said.

The government has drawn flak for initiating an RCI into Thomas’ memoir, ‘My Story: Justice in the Wilderness’. Some said the government should instead focus on institutional reforms, while others claimed it was political revenge.

However, Azalina said the RCI is a better avenue to look into Thomas’ book as compared to a special task force.

Citing Thomas’ affidavit filed in the High Court earlier this month, she pointed out that the former attorney-general had questioned the legality of the task force.

“So, to me, I personally think that the RCI would have been better than the task force, and the whole idea is to look at a broader picture (on issues relating to Thomas’ memoir),” she said.

“The RCI is the much better structure because you are giving people the benefit of doubt and allowing them to defend themselves,” she said.

The RCI may come out with institutional reform suggestions, including the separation of the roles of attorney-general and public prosecutor, she said.

“Let the RCI stand for itself and present the terms of reference to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong,” added Azalina.

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 special task force, which was set up by former prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob in October 2021 to look into the disclosures made in Thomas’ book, suggested the matter be dealt with by an RCI.

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

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