Shocked Tun M rubbishes Tommy Thomas’ view, says ex-AG had once hated him

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he was shocked to read excerpts of Tan Sri Tommy Thomas’ memoirs, adding the former Attorney-General was among those who hated him.

The former prime minister also rubbished Thomas’ view that the former had told him the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had wanted to appoint Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as the interim prime minister.

“I was shocked to read excerpts from Thomas’ book ‘My Story: Justice in the Wildness’. Tommy was one of those lawyers who hated me. But before I became prime minister once again, Thomas came with (lawyers) Zainur Zakaria and Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, both who at one time were against me. Zainur recommended Thomas for the post of AG,” said Dr Mahathir in his latest blog entry today.

“At that time, I was disillusioned with a number of Malay AGs who were prepared to obey the (then) prime minister (Datuk Seri Najib Razak) even when instructed to do something obviously wrong. I thought it would be a good thing if the AG was not a Malay.

Dr Mahathir said upon becoming the seventh prime minister, he appointed Thomas despite knowing the “Malays would not like it”.

“I was generally satisfied with Thomas’ work. He explained to me that there was no case against the so-called supporters of LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam). I accepted his explanation and wrote to (Tan Sri) Muhyiddin (Yassin), the (then) home affairs minister. He dropped the case. The anger of the Malays against me was terrible.

“Tommy knew nothing about my resignation. According to Tommy, I told him that the Agong had wanted to appoint (Dr) Wan Azizah as interim prime minister.

“This is nonsense. After reluctantly accepting my resignation, the Agong suggested I become interim prime minister. (Dr) Wan Azizah could not be acting prime minister or interim prime minister because the Pakatan Harapan government had already collapsed,” he added.

Dr Mahathir said he trusted Thomas, defended him when Malays condemned him and even recommended a Tan Sri-ship for him.

“My resignation was personal. I never submitted the resignation of the Cabinet. But when the Pakatan Harapan government fell, there was no way the Cabinet could remain. It had to go down with the government.

“I cannot understand how a lawyer cannot understand (that) this was not a change of prime minister. The Pakatan Harapan government had lost. The Agong could not appoint (Dr) Wan Azizah, the (then) deputy prime minister as acting prime minister. Like me, she did not have a majority after PH was overthrown by Bersatu leaving together with (Datuk Seri) Azmin Ali’s faction of PKR. Neither did the Cabinet,” he added.

Here’s the round-up of The News Normal.

THOMAS INSULTED US, SAY LEGAL OFFICERS

The Judicial and Legal Service Officers’ Association (JALSOA) had earlier objected to Tan Sri Tommy Thomas’ views about legal officers in the memoirs.

JALSOA executive committee said Thomas’ remarks had insulted its members.

“JALSOA is very upset and affected by what he wrote. Legal officers, whether they are in the Attorney- General’s Chambers or in the courts, always carry out the responsibilities entrusted to them in accordance with the provisions of the law regardless of who is the Attorney-General or the ruling government,” the committee said.

It added Thomas should not question the ability, capability and performance of the legal officers under his short period of supervision.

“Legal officers whose academic qualifications are on par with private practice lawyers are here to represent the government in legal disputes in court, including proceedings and international negotiations with the national interest at heart.

“Thomas’ view is very uncivilised and reflects his shallow thinking. Any dissatisfaction he felt while dealing with legal officers was uncalled for and should not be scribbled for public scrutiny.

“That perception is Thomas’ own creation over his failure to lead the Attorney-General’s Chambers as well as his lack of understanding of public service administration.”

COPS TO QUIZ THOMAS SOON

Police confirmed they will investigate Thomas after former solicitor-general III, Datuk Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria lodged a police report yesterday for alleged defamation.

Hanafiah claimed an excerpt from Thomas’ book had tarnished his image as a deputy public prosecutor. In his police report, Hanafiah said Thomas made it seem that the former was lazy and was unable to handle the prosecution in the SRC International trial.

Police said they will investigate Thomas under Section 500 of the Penal Code for defamation and that they will record his statement soon.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak has also threatened to sue Thomas.

In his letter of demand, the former prime minister said Thomas defamed him in Chapter 42 (Altantuya) in his book which ran from pages 400 to 405. Najib demanded that the “libellous parts” be retracted, Thomas to issue an apology and is seeking RM10 million in damages.

JAIL, FINE FOR ISA SAMAD

Former Felda chairman Tan Sri Isa Samad was sentenced to six years in prison and fined RM15.4 million by the Kuala Lumpur High Court after he was found guilty of nine counts of corruption involving RM3.09 million over the authority’s purchase of a hotel in Sarawak seven years ago.

High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Ghazali sentenced Isa, 71, to six years’ imprisonment on each of the nine counts with the jail terms to run concurrently.

Isa, however, was granted a stay of execution against the prison sentence and fine, pending his appeal to the Court of Appeal.

Isa, who was Felda chairman from January 2011 to January 2017, was initially slapped with one charge of criminal breach of trust (CBT) and nine counts of corruption over the purchase of the Merdeka Palace Hotel and Suites in Kuching.

He was acquitted on the CBT charge and the court ordered him to enter his defence on the corruption charges.

The former Negeri Sembilan menteri besar received RM3.09 million for approving the purchase of the hotel. Felda Investment Corporation Sdn Bhd (FIC) paid RM160 million for the hotel.

PM TO VISIT INDONESIA TOMORROW

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will visit Indonesia tomorrow – his first official visit abroad since assuming office last March.

He is scheduled to meet Indonesia Prime Minister Joko Widodo on Friday morning. They are expected to discuss economic cooperation, regional and bilateral security and joint efforts in combatting Covid-19.

Muhyiddin will be accompanied by a small delegation comprising Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and senior government officials.

The Malaysian delegation will return on Friday.

E-MAGAZINE EDITOR COMES UP WITH OWN SOP FOR CNY

It’s better to be safe than sorry.

That is the motto Kon Wai Luen is living by as he is frightened by the alarming rise in Covid-19 cases in the country.

As such, he has come up with a standard operating procedure (SOP) without waiting for guidelines from the National Security Council.

‘FACEBOOK MUST ACT AGAINST THOSE INCITING VIOLENCE IN MYANMAR’

Human rights activists fear the social media tool will once again be used to incite hate and violence against elected Myanmar leaders following a military takeover on Monday.

Khin Ohmar, the chairperson of the Advisory Board of Progressive Voice, called on Facebook to “take action”.

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