Yesterday, 3 June, it was reported that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government had proposed constitutional lawyer Tommy Thomas as their sole candidate for the role of attorney-general, currently held by Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali
The Malaysian Consultative Council for Islamic Organisations (Mapim) has since raised objections to Tommy Thomas as an A-G candidate, arguing that the barrister does not speak Bahasa Malaysia fluently
In a press statement, the NGO's president Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid proclaimed that, "An appointed A-G needs to master Bahasa Melayu on a comprehensible level. Handling legal matters with a poor mastery of Bahasa Malaysia does not make one fit to be promoted as A-G."
"As far as we know, Thomas does not have a good mastery of Bahasa Malaysia. Therefore, he is not fit to be A-G," he added, according to The Malaysian Insight.
Azmi also said that the next A-G needed be Malay or Muslim, since "The Agong himself said the A-G should be advising him in shariah law matters"
"How can a non-Muslim A-G have the credibility to advise on such matters?" he added.
The Mapim president pointed out that there were many Malay and Muslim lawyers in the country who are equally as qualified as Thomas to assume the role of A-G.
Azmi suggested that instead of appointing someone new, former A-G Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail should be re-appointed
He reasoned that Gani, who held the position for 13 years before being succeeded by Apandi Ali, would be able to "resolve the polemics between the prime minister and the Agong, as well as the Malay rulers."
Azmi recommended that the government hire Tommy Thomas as a deputy public prosecutor, to handle high-profile cases such as the 1Malaysia Development Bhd investigation, The Malaysian Insight reported.
Meanwhile, two petitions regarding the A-G candidacy have since been launched by netizens
The first petition titled "Reject The Appointment of Tommy Thomas As Attorney General" was created on iPetitions by 'Pejuang Melayu' (Malay Warrior) on Sunday, 3 June.
At the time of writing, the petition garnered over 18,000 signatures.
In the comments section, signatories reasoned that Tommy Thomas should not become A-G as the King's decisions should be respected.
On the contrary, a Change.org petition was started by Ernest Wong later in the same day, arguing for an appointment based on merit rather than race or religion.
At the time of writing, the petition has garnered 2,000 signatures.