Tommy Thomas might be laughing his way to bank

THERE are so many outstanding and serious issues that need to be addressed by the Government such as disappearances of individuals, deaths in custody, the deeply entrenched nature of institutional racism, the high level of corruption and scandals and many others.

But unfortunately, the irresponsible caretaker government of Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob finds the time and space to go on the spree of witch hunting against individuals who had worked with the former Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.

Here I am referring to the former attorney-general (AG) Tan Sri Tommy Thomas who has been singled out for government offensive.

Thomas might be a controversial figure; his memoirs might ruffle feathers and raise questions. But beyond this, rather than treating it his book “My Story: Justice in the Wilderness” as another controversial book, the government has begun a vendetta against him.

This was the reason for the setting up of the task force to scrutinise his memoirs and the subsequent submission of a report to the Parliament.

Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy

The Government has ordered for the declassification of the report in the words of Ismail Sabri as an “ammunition” against the opposition and Thomas in particular.

Truth hurts

It looks like Thomas might be investigated for his allegations against the judiciary, exposure of government secrets, abuse of power and professional negligence.

He might be investigated under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the Penal Code and others. Whether Thomas will be prosecuted remains to be established.

It is not that simple to investigate the former AG who did a pretty excellent job while he was serving the former government.

The truth revealed by Thomas must have hurt those in the high places of power and privilege. It must definitely be sour point for those in UMNO who had mismanaged the country before the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition lost to PH in the 14th General Election (GE14) in 2018.

It is not that the allegations contained in Thomas memoirs are without basis. But the revelations of allegations about judicial misconduct, abuse of power and professional negligence are so common during the BN period. Thomas’ memoirs basically confirms them.

The very fact he was the former AG with access to information provided him the clout and the stature to reveal all what was wrong with the BN government.

Credibility at stake

In fact, Ismail Sabri should have used his present inept AG to refute the allegations of Thomas.

Why is he keeping quiet? He came through the backdoor hopefully waiting to exit through the same door. Where is the maturity and professionalism on the part of the Government headed by Ismail?

Why can’t the Government refute Thomas’ allegations systematically and coherently? Why doesn’t Ismail Sabri ask the concerned government agencies to respond to the allegations in Thomas’ memoirs?

Why the need for a task force that was essentially tasked to prepare the grounds for investigation and possibly legal action against Thomas?

The real target is not Thomas but the former government of PH. The only credible and effective opposition in the country in the face of the forthcoming 15th General Election (GE15) is none other than PH.

UMNO/BN are not going to have an easy time to return back to power despite calling for the elections in the midst of the monsoon season.

From the mouth of Ismail Sabri himself, the task force on Thomas’s memoir was political in nature. The insidious attempt to discredit Thomas will mean the sacrifice of truth.

Ismail Sabri thinks that he has provided the perfect ammunition for UMNO to discredit Thomas and the opposition, PH. But whatever he thinks and acts, it is not going to be plain sailing in charging and prosecuting Thomas for his so-called crimes.

Thomas is prepared to face the enforcement agencies in the court of law. Whether Ismail Sabri might realise or not, the judiciary – having jailed former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak – is not prepared to be the Government’s yes man any longer.

Henceforth, the Government might have done Thomas a great favour. Even before the setting of the task force on his memoirs, it was already a best seller.

With the establishment of the task force, it is perhaps going to be a super best seller. Thomas might be laughing his way to the bank. – Oct 26, 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.


Main pic credit: Free Malaysia Today

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