Tommy Thomas: Dr M right not to cooperate with Batu Puteh task force

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Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad was correct in his decision not to cooperate with the special task force reviewing a 2018 decision not to pursue Malaysia’s claims on Pulau Batu Puteh, Tommy Thomas said.

The former attorney-general said that the task force chairman, Mohamed Apandi Ali, who is also his predecessor, is not the right person to lead the task force as it was he who had advised the previous government to file for a review of the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) decision on Batu Puteh and two other islands.

“Dr Mahathir has got a strong case because the one person who was very much behind Malaysia’s attempt to relitigate the Batu Puteh case against Singapore in the world court was Apandi.”

“Dr Mahathir was acting correctly by listening to legal advice (not to pursue the case). “

“So, I support Dr Mahathir,” Thomas said today during the launch of the Chinese edition of his “My Story: Justice in the Wilderness” book.

Thomas added that the advice to Dr Mahathir not to pursue the case was given before he became attorney-general.

In a previous report, Free Malaysia Today reported that the advice was given by “foreign legal consultants”, citing court documents.

Thomas also claimed that the country’s judicial system needs a revamp as it is being exploited.

He said adjournments are easy to get and judges are not imposing the law strictly enough resulting in convicted felons like former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak moving freely despite his guilty sentence.

“It has caused great damage to the country and the judicial and political system. Four years ago, we all heard sermons from Tun (Dr Mahathir Mohamad) galvanising the public against 1MDB and since then the evidence has been damning.

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“Based on that, he (Najib) should be far more unpopular, but many seem to adore him many years later. I’m perplexed. This you must ask psychologists, and psychiatrists why it is.

Thomas said it was unfortunate that Dr Mahathir stepping down as Pakatan Harapan (PH) leader had caused the collapse of the government paving the way for Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to take over.

He said despite PH having done a good job they failed to tip the scales in their favour. “Unfortunately, PH fell when one man decided to step down but not once did the public comment on the good things they did, compare it with the terrible policies from previous governments, you’ll find PH comes out much better.

“More surprising is not enough people talking about the poor economy and rising inflation. They blame Covid-19, supply chain and so on but inflation is through the roof, the worst since Merdeka while salaries and wages are stagnant. Whose fault is this? Why aren’t we complaining about this?” Thomas also said allowing people to use their EPF was a bad move and is shocked at the lack of complaints from the public due to these terrible policies.

“So, we cannot blame PH for that. They fell two years ago. So, who’s causing all these problems we must ask ourselves,” he added.