Tommy Thomas: Number of reports lodged over memoir surprising

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Former attorney-general Tommy Thomas said those who lodged police reports against him after the publication of his memoir are the same people who were against his appointment to the post.

“It was the same group of people who were complaining and protesting about, first of all, my appointment, and whatever I did or did not do in 20 months.

TMI

“That group of people who objected to my appointment, and therefore to the book, was not surprising,” he said in an interview with “Advocates the Podcast”.

Upon the release of Thomas’ memoir My Story: Justice in the Wilderness on January 30, more than 100 police reports were lodged against him over various allegations – for releasing state secrets, criminal defamation and insults.

Among the issues Thomas discussed in the books were the prosecution of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) case, the troubles he had faced in the A-G’s Chambers, and his controversial appointment.

He also touched on the process of prosecuting former prime minister Najib Razak, the competence of prosecution officers handling the case, the murder of Mongolian interpreter Altantuya Shaariibuu that implicated Najib, his controversial appointment to the post as a non-Malay, and on the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government.

Those who have lodged police reports against him included Thomas’ predecessor Apandi Ali who has accused Thomas of slandering him.

Apandi also alleged Thomas had divulged national secrets in the book, purportedly violating the Official Secrets Act and Penal Code.

Former solicitor-general Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria has also lodged a police report against Thomas for tarnishing his reputation as “incapable” of prosecuting Najib for corruption in the SRC International Bhd case.

Najib announced plans in February to sue Thomas over a part in the book that implicated him in Altantuya’s murder.

In the podcast, Thomas also spoke about the Undi18 bill, which lowered the voting age to 18, and allowed for automatic voter registration, calling it one of his biggest accomplishments during his two-year tenure.

Thomas applauded former youth and sports minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who managed to convince 211 members of parliament to vote in favour of the bill but expressed disappointment that it has not been fully implemented.

“It’s a bit disappointing now that you hear those who unanimously supported the bill, and are now in power, are holding back and not wanting to implement it,” he said in the podcast.

The Election Commission last week announced that the implementation of Undi 18 would be deferred to September 2022 at the earliest.

It blamed movement-controls against the Covid-19 spread as the prime reason for the delay.

His biggest failure, Thomas said, was not actively addressing the Sedition Act and Anti-Fake News Act.

“(There were) quite a few controversial bills which were waiting to be repealed or amended substantially. But we didn’t do anything about it.

“I would say that the death penalty was an opportunity missed,” he said, adding that these failures were now “haunting” the opposition and civil society.

When asked if he would return to helm the attorney-general chambers again if given a second chance, Thomas said “no”.

“Coming back a second time? No, no, no. Absolutely not.

“I enjoyed it, but that’s it. Move on,” he said.

He then referred to former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s return to lead PH, becoming prime minister for a second time, and said it showed “how dangerous it is to come back”. – TMI