KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 — Attorney General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas should resign if he is unable to follow the government’s national security policy, Simpang Renggam MP Maszlee Malik asserted today.
The former education minister who was forced to resign last month, allegedly for bucking the Cabinet collective on certain policies, said Thomas had failed to follow government policy when he decided to drop prosecution of 12 Malaysians charged with supporting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
“I ask Tan Sri Tommy Thomas to abide by the government policy and prioritise national security or relinquish his position as attorney general,” Maszlee said in a statement posted on his Facebook page.
He noted that Thomas had two roles to play, pointing out that as AG, he is the government’s legal adviser, and that his other role is as the public prosecutor.
Maszlee further noted Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has said the LTTE remains classified as a terrorist group as it is seen to be a threat to Malaysia’s public order and national security — even if the Sri Lankan separatist group was considered defunct following the end of a civil war in the island nation 11 years ago.
“As long as the home minister does not change this, it remains the decision of the government responsible for national security through agencies and statutory bodies like the police,” he said.
“The attorney general’s failure to take into account the government’s policy before making decisions is not only wrong, but against his role as the federal government’s main legal adviser,” Maszlee, a Bersatu supreme council member, asserted.
Thomas has come under harsh criticism after announcing yesterday that he had found insufficient evidence for a “realistic prospect of conviction” against 12 Malaysians charged last October with supporting the LTTE.
He issued an exhaustive 11-page statement explaining the grounds for discontinuing the LTTE case and also exhorted the Home Ministry to relook the terror designation on the group.
However, Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has since responded and said the LTTE which was designated a terror group since 2014 will remain so.
Muhyiddin said the latest information still suggests the group remains a threat to Malaysia’s public order and national security.
Thomas reiterated today his assertion that the prosecution case would be hurt if it has continued as Section 66B(9) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 compels the home minister to conduct a review of orders every six months.
It is unclear if the Home Ministry had undertaken the review, or when.