Tommy Thomas will be probed under various Acts, including OSA and Penal Code, although the general consensus is that a push for RCI would be better
Former attorney-general Tommy Thomas will be immediately investigated for sedition and other offences arising from the contents of his controversial memoir.
The directive came from Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob as stated in a statement issued by the PM’s office today.
Thomas will be probed under Section 8 of the Official Secrets Act (OSA), Section 23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act, Section 4 of Sedition Act and Sections 124I and 203A of the Penal Code.
Ismail said a special task force formed to look into allegations in Thomas’ book had initially identified 19 issues which were then compressed into four main issues, namely:
- allegations levelled against the judiciary
- exposing government secrets
- abuse of power and professional negligence
- seditious statements.
Ismail confirmed that the special task force had presented its findings at a Cabinet meeting earlier today.
The book, titled My Story: Justice in the Wilderness was published in January last year.
Probe on Tommy Thomas Ordered
“The report prepared by the task force over the past nine months has detailed every allegation made by Thomas in his book.
“I have instructed for further investigations to be immediately conducted by the relevant enforcement agencies to probe any possible offences by Thomas,” Ismail said.
Section 4 of the Sedition Act provides for a maximum jail term of three years or a RM5,000 fine, or both, while Section 23 of the MACC Act deals with abuse of power, providing up to 20 years in prison and a fine not less than five times the value of the bribe.
Section 203A of the Penal Code involves disclosure of information obtained in the performance of one’s duties, which provides for up to one year in prison, a maximum RM1 million fine, or both.
Section 8 of the OSA involves wrongful communication of an official secret, providing for a jail sentence of between one to seven years.
On August 29, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the special task force the appointed last year had met 10 times between December 23, 2021 and April 12 this year.
Wan Junaidi said the meetings involved discussions and consultations with relevant individuals and agencies such as the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC), Royal Malaysia Police, Judicial Services Commission, Office of the Chief Registrar Federal Court of Malaysia, Finance Ministry, Foreign Ministry, and the Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry.
The special task force is chaired by Sarawak state legal adviser and former Sarawak state attorney general Datuk Seri Fong Joo Chung.
RCI Would Be Better
Meanwhile, NMH’s jurist (legal scholar) Joe Fernandez is of the opinion that looking at the MACC probe on Judge Nazlan, and the Yes Minister and Yes Mr Prime Minister sitcoms on British TV, it’s unlikely that anything will come out of the multi-agency investigation.
“The government should have instead recommended a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to the Yang di Pertuan Agong.
“It would not be the done thing to emulate the unscrupulous Ad Hoc Prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram and focus on a narrow area, probably OSA’72, and win a conviction by hook or by crook.
“Gopal Sri Ram is sheer evil in court,” he added.
Joe also remarked on the weakness of law in Malaysia by referring to the Arbitration Award won by the Sulu Heirs as example.
“Eventually, Malaysia may have to come to an out of court settlement to prevent the Sulu heirs from enforcing the Arbitration Award in multiple jurisdiction.” – NMH
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