Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has directed that immediate investigations for possible wrongdoing be taken against former attorney general Tan Sri Tommy Thomas over the latter’s memoirs.
The prime minister said this was based on the report of the special task force investigating the matter, which was presented to the Cabinet today.
In a statement, Ismail Sabri said the investigations will be conducted under Sections 124(I) and 203A of the Penal Code, Section 4 of the Sedition Act 1948, Section 8 of the Official Secrets Act 1972, and Section 3 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Act 2009.
“The report was prepared by this team within nine months, since December 2021 to August 2022, detailing each of the allegations mentioned by Thomas in his book titled ‘My Story: Justice in the Wilderness’.
“Based on the investigation conducted, the team categorised 19 important issues detected in book the into four main topics,” said Ismail Sabri.
The four topics were allegations against the judiciary; the disclosure of government information and secrets; wrongful acts, abuse, and negligence; as well as seditious statements.
On August 29, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the special task force the appointed last year had met 10 times between December 23, 2021 and April 12.
Having piously explained how he could not possibly intervene in the justice system to get his BN leadership rival, Najib Razak, off the hook for his proven crimes, Ismail has just exposed himself completely.
Having commissioned a ‘task force’ to go through and pick holes in a book that in part dealt with Malaysia’s progressive struggles to maintain and establish an independent judiciary, he has now ordered the ‘independent’ prosecution service to go after the venerable writer over a slew of accusations they concocted over several months.
Najib is justified in asking his successor, in which case why not “order” him a pardon? The answer, of course, would be that it is convenient for Ismail to keep Najib right where he belongs for now, which is in jail – as the vast majority of Malaysians would agree.
Let us remind ourselves, the man put in charge of the said task force which has now produced these 19 ‘criminal allegations’ could not possibly have been a more controversial choice in terms of a past tainted by service to gross corruption and abuse of power. He is none other that the appalling JC Fong who guided the Sarawak kleptocrat Abdul Taib Mahmud through his decades of rape and tyranny, first as the all powerful state attorney general and then in a shadowy advisory position where he continued to flex power amidst concerns over conflicts of interest.
This dubious BN flunkey has come up with a laundry list of sections from the penal code with which to accuse his former federal boss of everything from ‘sedition’ to betraying official secrets and even corruption in response to a book. This was the ex-AG’s well-received memoire of his time in office that shed much understanding on the entrenched problems of weak governance and corruption that had bedevilled the country during the years that JC Fong’s own career had flourished, and which set out guidelines for reform.
So, let’s look at who has really committed crimes. Having toppled the elected government that appointed the author and former AG Tommy Thomas to enforce the law against kleptocrats and power abusers, UMNO/BN – a criminal organisation that masquerades as a political party – has worked hard to reverse the proceedings against almost all their exposed colleagues through the appointment of a new AG who methodically dropped charges, cut deals and mucked up cases as fast as he could to rescue almost the entire band of brigands with a few high profile exceptions, including Najib and his wife.
UMNO president Zahid Hamidi is of course doing everything he can to ensure the government nobbles the prosecutions against himself as well, on the basis that it is perfectly fine for career politicians to accumulate huge and ostentatious signs of wealth, and for cash ‘donations’ to be made to the same politicians in return for licences to cut timber (known as a Musa Aman) or to traffic workers (known as a ‘Zahid’) as long as they are retrospectively described as having been ‘political’ not ‘personal’ kickbacks. (This understanding is NOT laid out in any penal code, naturally, as it is so outrageous).
All this has been attempted under the guise of pretending Malaysia’s prosecution service, headed by an AG nominated by the prime minister, is independent. Meanwhile, the anti-corruption commission head (who quakes in fear at his political masters and has progressed accordingly in his career) has even claimed that to be accountable to parliament would interfere with his own ‘independence’ – working as he does under the prime minister’s office.
By ORDERING all these forces now to go after a highly respected former senior public servant on pretended criminal charges is blatant vengefulness, classic intimidation. abuse of office and a pathetic attempt to toss some compensation to cheer up those who have been rightfully charged and convicted for real crimes (Najib) thanks to the bold decisions of Tommy Thomas.