Tommy Thomas’ book an insult to law profession, says AG

by AFIQ AZIZ / Pic by TMR GRAPHIC

THE autobiography of former Attorney General (AG) Tan Sri Tommy Thomas, which revealed the government internal matters, has been described by his successor Tan Sri Idris Harun as “an insult to the legal profession and has demoralised practitioners”.

Idris said in a statement yesterday that Thomas’ book, “My Story: Justice in the Wilderness”, has also given a negative impact to the law institution as it also jeopardises the public’s trust towards the country’s legal system.

“The publication of the book has raised reactions from various parties which touched and questioned the capabilities and competencies of the legal officer at the AG’s Chamber (AGC).

“The content in the book has given negative impact, especially from the public’s view, hence affecting the morale of the legal officers. Besides, I think it is an insult to the legal institution,” Idris said.

The 573-page book, among others, discussed the power transition processes from former Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad before Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was appointment as the eighth PM.

According to Thomas, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah has proposed former Deputy PM Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to fill in the interim PM post, but Dr Mahathir submitted his own name instead.

In a long entry on Wednesday, Dr Mahathir denied the allegation, stating the claim as nonsense and Thomas did not know anything about the ex-PM’s resignation.

The memoir also sparked some other controversies, including the allegation that former solicitor general III Datuk Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria is deemed unfit or not capable to lead and supervise the prosecution team in one of Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak’s corruption cases in 2018.

Subsequently, Mohamad Hanafiah lodged a police report, stating that the book had tarnished his image as a deputy public prosecutor who had served for 33 years.

Thomas was also criticised for disrespecting attorney-client privilege and the non-disclosure agreement due to the revelation in the autobiography.

Yesterday, Thomas’ predecessor Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali lodged a police report against Thomas, stating that the veteren practitioner had violated the Official Secrets Act (OSA) in his writing.

“This is not only for me, but also for others who have been scandalised and humiliated by the book, especially the officers of the AGC,” Mohamed Apandi said in a report.

The facts in Thomas’ book were also criticised by former CIMB Group Holdings Bhd chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, as the autobiography asserted that the May 13 riots were due to a coup by his late father Tun Abdul Razak Hussein.

“This is pure conjecture on his part. Fifty years on and not a shred of credible evidence has emerged to support this view,” said Nazir in an Instagram post.

Nazir said Thomas relied on the fact that the second PM was the main beneficiary of the riots and that he was in a hurry to become PM because he had been told that he was dying.

“Moreover, Thomas has his facts wrong; Tun Razak’s cancer was only diagnosed in November 1969 and doctors suggested that it may have been the stress of dealing with the riots that caused the illness,” said Nazir.

Former Law Minister Datuk Mohd Zaid Ibrahim in his tweet stated: “Although my tenure as minister was short, I too had some juicy stuff to tell. But I thought my oath of office would prevent me from disclosing them. I should have consulted Thomas and made some money,” referring to the Thomas revelations.

Meanwhile, Idris said in his 35 years of experience in legal and judicial services, he has not doubted the capabilities, skills and commitment of legal officers in the public office.

As such, he said the legal officers will continue to carry out their fiduciary duties with fair and just, and without fear and favour.


Read our earlier report

Dr Mahathir: The King did not propose Dr Wan Azizah as interim PM