Were Tommy Thomas AG Decisions Apolitical?

Aathi Shankar

A former deputy minister has expressed his concerns on whether Tommy Thomas decision-making was apolitical when serving as the country’s 8th Attorney General for 21 months between June 4, 2018 and February February 2020.

Referring to Tommy Thomas memoirs – ‘My Story: Justice in the Wilderness’, Datuk Loga Bala Mohan said the book revealed that as a AG, the former had admitted to have played a starring role in the decision-making process in the appointments in key government positions such as the judiciary.

“Reading memoirs of Tommy Thomas, we can say that his actions spoke louder the words.

“Tommy Thomas described in his book about his strong influence even in the appointments of the country’s judges,” said Loga Bala, formerly the Federal Territory Deputy Minister.

In his memoirs, Tommy Thomas admitted to have selected and recommended the chief justice and heads of court of appeal, and high court of Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak when he was the AG.

Loga Bala said that an attorney general unwarranted interference in the judicial appointments had undermined and compromised the integrity, dignity and independence of the judiciary due to a serious conflict of interests.

He is also surprised by the former AG’s whistleblower-like unprecedented revelation.

“How is it possible for a AG to publicly expose such issues?

“Never before had any previous AG had openly made such claims,” pointed out Loga Bala.

He questioned on whether Tommy Thomas was trying to parade himself as a political decision-maker with his bold disclosure.

“Was he trying to make known the level of influence and power he had in the government then?”

Tommy Thomas served as the AG under the 7th Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad.

Loga Bala alleged that the memoirs raised concerns that Tommy Thomas may have not been apolitical in his high-profile decisions during his time.

“There are many decisions where Tommy Thomas can be be seen was political.

“Now it is for people to judge on how the former AG had affected them and the country by mocking the doctrines of separation of powers and rule of law.”

He pointed out that besides Tommy Thomas. Mahathir’s government had also made political decisions in appointments of two other key posts.

One was the appointment of PKR politician Latheefa Beebi Koya as the head commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

The other was the appointment of Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat as the Chief Justice.

Tengku Maimun’s lawyer husband Datuk Zamani Ibrahim is a grassroots leader in Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), which was established by Mahathir.