With A Promise To Do The Right Thing, Newly Appointed A-G Tommy Thomas Reports For Work
Newly appointed Attorney-General (A-G) Tommy Thomas clocked in for his first day at the Attorney-General's Chambers at 1.15pm today
The 66-year-old was greeted by the AGC's employees. Tommy Thomas is taking over from Mohamed Apandi Ali, who has been officially terminated from the job.
Thomas, a critic of Tun Dr Mahathir's previous term in government, is a skilled litigator and capable of navigating the complex corruption cases now under investigation including the 1MDB case
And immediately after reporting for his first day at work, the newly appointed Attorney-General told reporters that there would be "no cover-ups" as he promised to institute criminal and civil action over a graft scandal at state fund 1MDB.
"I have therefore to study all the papers in that scandal. We will institute criminal and civil proceedings in our courts against the alleged wrongdoers.
"All are equal before the law and no one is spared. There will be no cover-up," Thomas said, adding that he would immediately contact authorities in other countries investigating 1MDB, with the aim of returning billions allegedly stolen from the fund.
Thomas promises to do the right thing on his part.
"That is, to tell the truth, and to do justice. Justice must not only be done but it must also be seen to be done," A-G Thomas said.
While his appointment had been opposed by some sections due to him being Malaysia's first non-Muslim Attorney-General in decades, Thomas said he welcomes criticism of him and his performance from the public in the practice of free speech.
"If you value free speech then you must practise free speech, and it means everybody can criticise you, so I am happy for everybody to criticise me.
"In fact, I would rather listen to criticism then praises and good things.
"Please carry on, because if you value free speech you must criticise," he told reporters when asked about the remarks made about him prior to his appointment.
He has also said that repealing of laws such as Anti-Fake News Act among others is next in priority after the 1MDB investigations
"The prime minister has already announced the end of the goods and services tax (GST) and the anti-fake news law. But, the list of such laws is pretty long and (A-G) chambers have to take steps to repeal them, either in whole or in part, on an urgent basis," Thomas was quoted as saying by The Malaysian Insight.
The Anti-Fake News Act, which Tun Dr Mahathir today announced would go, could be abolished as early as the Dewan Rakyat session this month, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo, reported The Malaysian Insight.
Gobind Singh has said the proposal to table the Anti-Fake News Act's repeal only needs a simple majority to pass and would not require a constitutional amendment.
While promising to "brush up" his Malay, which he said he neglected during his private practice, he described accepting the appointment as the country's top legal position as "national service"
"I will try to do reforms. Someone has to direct the reforms of the laws as part of the reforming government. Our mantra is a reforming attorney-general to assist the reforming prime minister, elected by the people three to four weeks ago.
"We are planning to reform 60 years of laws. It will be a long process, but we will reform what needs to be reformed," he said at the Attorney General’s Chambers this afternoon.
On his first day at the job, Thomas also said that the "selective prosecution will immediately cease" and that all law-abiding citizens no longer need to "fear the midnight knock of the policeman"
"Those who commit no wrong have nothing to fear. Malaysia is a free country. We should not fear the midnight knock of the policeman.
"For those who flout the law, (they) will be met with the full force of the law regardless of their station in life.
"On my part, I promise to do the right thing, that is, to tell the truth, and to do justice. Justice must not only be done but it must be seen to be done.
"Conflicts of interests shall cease. Integrity shall be a priority. I shall discharge my duty honestly, fairly, freely, independently and to the best of my abilities," he added.
Above all, Thomas said that PM Tun Dr Mahathir has given him a "free hand" and there will be no interference on the AGC