PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia Investigations into the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) is the first and immediate priority for the newly-appointed Attorney-General (AG) Tommy Thomas as he clocks in the Attorney-General’s Chamber (AGC) here today.
Speaking to reporters as he stepped into the AGC’s lobby about 1.20 pm, the newly-minted AG who beamed at those waiting for him as soon as he alighted from a car, first approached a group of journalists and took out a script to be read out.
“My first and immediate priority is, all matters pertaining to 1MDB. I have to, therefore, study the papers in that scandal. We shall institute criminal and civil proceedings in our courts against the alleged wrongdoers. All are equal before the law and no one will be spared. There will be no cover-up,” he said.
Thomas said the AGC would immediately contact its counterparts in the United States, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Singapore and other jurisdictions to extend its full cooperation and assistance to them in all matters relating to 1MDB, with the objective of repatriating to Malaysia, the billions of cash stolen from taxpayers.
To a question if there were any individuals that he would be probing first or the list of individuals he had in mind at the moment, he said he had to study the papers.
“As far as I am concerned, they are alleged wrongdoers,” he added.
Asked if he would be looking into previous allegations where the previous AG halted investigations into 1MDB, Thomas said he would look at everything with an open mind.
“Don’t forget that I am an outsider. All I know is what I read in the public domain,” he said.
Thomas said his second immediate priority was to repeal oppressive laws.
“Although Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has already announced the end of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Anti-Fake News, but (nevertheless) the list of such laws is pretty long and (the) chambers has to take steps to repeal them either in whole or in part or on an urgent basis,” he added.
Thirdly, he said, he had to independently study the international obligation undertaken by the previous administration such as contracts with other countries to ascertain if they were lopsided against Malaysia’s interest.
Selective prosecution will immediately cease. Those who commit no wrong have nothing to fear.
Malaysia is a free country. We should not fear the midnight knock of the policeman. But those who flout the law will be met with the full force of the law, regardless of their station in life,” he stressed.
On the separation of powers between the AGC and the public prosecutor, he said the Bar Council had taken that position for decades.
“The reforming government which I now serve has adopted that, and we will work towards that and it will certainly be the objective,” he added.
On the backlash from certain segments of the community over his appointment, Thomas said he was happy for everybody to criticise him.
“It is part of free speech. If you value free speech, then you must practise free speech. I rather listen to criticism than praises,” he said, adding that he received his appointment letter this morning, for the duration of two years. The letter was delivered to his office yesterday.
Asked to comment on concerns from certain quarters on his lack of Bahasa Melayu skills, Thomas admitted he had to improve his national language.
“Yes, I am afraid I have to brush it up. I really have to brush it up. Being 42 years in private practice, I have neglected my Bahasa (Melayu) and I promise to brush it up,” he said with a smile.
Source: NAM News Network