COMMENT BY YB PROF DR P.RAMASAMY, DEPUTY CHIEF MINISTER II, PENANG
Thomas might be laughing his way to bank
There are so many outstanding and serious issues that needs 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 Ismail Saberi Yaacob finds the time and space to go on the spree of witch hunting against individuals who had worked with the former government of PH.
Here I am referring to the former attorney general 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 as another controversial book, the government has begun a vendetta against him. This was the reason for the setting up of the task on his memoirs and the subsequent submission of its report to the Parliament.
The government has ordered for the declassification of the report in the words of Ismail as an “ammunition” against the opposition and Thomas in particular.
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 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 mismanaged the country before BN coalition lost to PH in 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.
In fact Ismail should have used his present inept present 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 the allegations of Thomas systematically and coherently. Why don’t Ismail ask the concerned government agencies to respond to the allegations in his memoirs?
Why the need for a task force that was essentially tasked to prepare the ground for investigation and possibly legal action against Thomas.
The real target is not Thomas, it is the former government of PH.
The only credible and effective opposition in the country in the face of 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 himself, the task force on Thomas’s memoir was politically in nature. The insidious attempt to discredit Thomas will mean the sacrifice of truth. Ismail thinks that he has given the perfect ammunition to Umno discredit the Thomas and the opposition, PH.
Whatever Ismail thinks and acts, it is not going to be plain sailing in charging and prosecuting Thomas for his so-called crimes. He is prepared to face the enforcement agencies in the court of law.
Ismail might realise or not, the judiciary having jailed the former prime minister Najib Razak is not prepared to be the yes man of the government.
The government might have done Thomas a great favour. Even before the setting of the task force on his memoirs, it was a best seller.
With the establishment of the task force, it is perhaps going to be the super best seller.
Thomas might be laughing his way to the bank.