Standoff ends with Agong’s consent for Thomas as A-G.
- Malaysians hail the King for his consent on Thomas’ appointment
- Malay Rulers’ meeting over A-G cancelled
In an immediate reaction, Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali congratulated Tommy Thomas over his appointment as AG.
“Congratulations to Tommy (Thomas) and all the best to him in discharging his new duties as the A-G,” he told The Star in a text message this morning.
In a statement, the Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Wan Ahmad Dahlan Ab Aziz said Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Muhammad V, on the advice of the Prime Minister, has given the approval to the appointment of Thomas as the A-G according to Article 145 (1) of the Federal Constitution.
The King, said Wan Ahmad, has also called on Malaysians to accept the appointment of the A-G, adding it should not create conflict as every Malaysian should be treated fairly regardless of their race or religion.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, on May 14, announced that Apandi was told to go on garden leave and would be temporarily replaced by Solicitor-General Datuk Engku Nor Faizah Engku Atek.
Wan Ahmad said the Agong has also approved the termination of Apandi as A-G after taking into consideration the views of the Malay Rulers.
Wan Ahmad also said His Majesty had expressed his concern over the recent media reports that were inaccurate and negative in nature that could jeopardise the peace and harmony of the country.
He said His Royal Highness also bears the responsibility to uphold the Federal Constitution and the rights of Malays and Bumiputera as well as protecting Islam.
The proposal to appoint Thomas as A-G had resulted in a standoff with the King as Dr Mahathir was adamant and submitted only Thomas’ name to the Agong.
However, the King had insisted on more than one name, according to sources close to the royalty.
Late last night, Pakatan Harapan de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was granted an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong regarding the appointment of Thomas as the A-G.
It was reported that after meeting the King in Kota Baru, Anwar returned to Kuala Lumpur at 1.40am today, shortly after which the palace issued the statement.
The Conference of Rulers was to have convened for an emergency meeting on the matter today, but with Thomas’ appointment, it has now been cancelled.
In the past few days, constitutional and legal experts and luminaries, including former chief justice Zaki Azmi, had thrown their support behind Thomas, some pointing out that the King could not withhold assent.
Reacting to Thomas’ appointment, Malaysians expressed their joy and gratitude to the King for giving his consent.
The Star reported positive comments on its Facebook page.
John Doraisamy said Malaysia and Malaysians were moving in the right direction.
“Happy to be 1Malaysia without racism,” he posted.
Francis Chan thanked Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for standing up for the rights of all Malaysians in accordance with the Federal Constitution.
“Thank you to His Majesty YDP Agong for your royal consent. Congratulations to the new AG!” he said.
Justin Tan said Malaysia had reached a new milestone with Thomas’ appointment.
“Everyone should be treated equally and fairly regardless of their race or religion.
“Hope this signifies a true Malaysian society based on merit that will push the country forward to becoming the next powerhouse in the region,” he said.
Meanwhile, Facebook user Rajasegaran Subramaniam called for the Federal Constitution to be made a compulsory subject in schools and universities due to the controversy surrounding Thomas’ appointment.
“It is pain in the eyes witnessing so called new Malaysia citizens commenting on sensitive issues without any ideas on what they are even commenting.
“(The) past two days was one hell of a rollercoaster ride because of ignorant comments from ‘new Malaysia’ citizens,” he said.