Media Release: Agong Should Remain Above Politics by Appointing Tommy Thomas

AGONG MUST REMAIN ABOVE POLITICS BY APPOINTING TOMMY THOMAS

PRESS STATEMENT 4 June 2018

PETALING JAYA (Monday): C4 Center respectfully urges the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong to stay above politics by appointing Tommy Thomas as the Attorney General on the advice of the government without futher delay as greater delays will jeopardise the cause of reform in Malaysia.

“Malaysians have made a momentous decision to change the government for the first time in all Malaysian history to stop the rot from further taking hold. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong needs to be a king of all Malaysians to allow this historic movement to cleanse Malaysia, and Tommy Thomas is pivotal part of that movement.”

Cynthia Gabriel, C4 Center

Last week, the Pakatan Harapan government nominated senior lawyer Tommy Thomas to be the Attorney General of Malaysia. This nomination was met with controversy, with some quarters highlighting his non-Malay and non-Muslim status. The Malaysian Insight reported that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was seeking to have Tommy Thomas dropped as candidate, citing that the Attorney General should be a Malay/Muslim, with an emergency meeting tomorrow.

However, C4 Center would respectfully beg to consider that Tommy Thomas is the pre-eminent choice for Attorney General in this key period. With 1MDB and megaproject investigations moving along quickly, the need for a capable government counsel and public prosecutor is sorely needed.

Article 145(1) of the Federal Constitution states that His Majesty must act as per the advice of the prime minister, without irrelevant considerations that do not have a constitutional basis.

By stalling on the appointment, the rakyat begins to doubt that that other considerations may come before corruption, and raises the spectre of racial tension.

This is hardly what is needed in Malaysia today. The most urgent project on hand is reforming a clean and transparent government—such a government will benefit both the royalty and their loyal subjects alike.

We are concerned that further delays will fan the flames of divisions within Malaysian society, which does not benefit the august office of the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong. A decisive appointment will put the matter to rest, will allow anti-corruption reforms to continue and will prevent people from further questioning the rulers decisions.

C4 Center does not doubt the capability of Tommy Thomas as an experienced lawyer to act in the best interests of the government, the people of Malaysia and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. C4 Center condemns all attempts at racialising the issue, and urges all Malaysians to put aside their difference in the spirit of good governance, anti-corruption and the pursuit of building a more transparent, people-centric administration.

Released by:
Cynthia Gabriel (Ms.)
Executive Director, C4 Center