Malaysia’s very own ‘Star Wars’ in the making: Tommy Thomas strikes back

FORMER attorney-general (AG) Tan Sri Tommy Thomas is not a person who will take things lying down.

He has initiated a legal suit against the members of the special task and the Malaysian Government for the publication of the report on his memoir My Story: Justice in Wilderness.

He has argued through his legal firm that the report was against the law and a serious breach of his constitutional rights.

Thomas has named the specialist task force chairman Datuk Seri JC Fong and the members in his suit. He has asked the court of law to declare the report as an illegal document not authorised by the law.

The contents of the report violate Sections 499 and 500 of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communication and Multimedia Act of 1998.

Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy

Thomas has put forth that the Government’s publication of the report violates his rights and reputation protected by Articles 5(1) and 13 of the Federal Constitution.

He is seeking compensation from all the defendants in the form of aggravated and exemplary damages.

Political vendetta

In 2021, the Government of the present caretaker government of Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob set up a special task force to investigate the memoirs of Thomas. The task force sat for about eight months before finally presenting its report to the Parliament in September 2022.

Subsequently, the report was declassified for the purpose of investigation. For UMNO/Barisan Nasional (BN), the report and its contents became the cannon fodder against the opposition, namely the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition.

Once the report was declassified, the Government declared that Thomas might be investigated for allegations against the judiciary, abuse of power, exposure of government secrets and professional negligence.

With the publication of the report, Ismail who is eager to please the UMNO court cluster has gone slightly overboard by saying that the allegations contained might be used as “ammunition” against the opposition in general and Thomas in particular.

After all, it was the PH government under Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that appointed Thomas as the AG for 22 months.

Whether the Government has anticipated or otherwise, Thomas has gone on full swing to defend himself against the wild allegations of the Government and the task force members.

The Government might initiate action against Thomas on four charges but whether these will stick or not remains to be seen.

The appointment of the special task force itself to investigate Thomas memoirs reeked of bias and political motive. In general, the special task force itself was a political vendetta against Thomas and the former PH government.

It was essentially meant to discredit the PH government and Thomas as the former AG. It is obvious that Thomas is not going to surrender to the Government that easily.

He has declared the report as illegal, unconstitutional and malicious in seeking damages. The battle has just begun. – Oct 28, 2022


Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy is the state assemblyperson for Perai. He is also Deputy Chief Minister II of Penang.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

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