Tommy Thomas: I quit because Dr M stepped down

According to a report, Tan Sri Tommy Thomas stepped down because former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had tendered his own resignation. — Picture by Hari Anggara
According to a report, Tan Sri Tommy Thomas stepped down because former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had tendered his own resignation. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 — Former Attorney General (AG) Tan Sri Tommy Thomas said the reason he resigned from office just months before the end of his two-year contract in June was due to the political change in Putrajaya.

Online portal Free Malaysia Today (FMT) reported that Thomas stepped down because former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had tendered his own resignation and his decision is in line with the tradition in United Kingdom and other mature democracies.

“My position as AG was that of a political appointee and made by Dr Mahathir Mohamad,” he told FMT.

“Once the prime minister tendered his resignation, it was incumbent on me to do so because I was appointed by him. It was also important for me to step aside and allow the incoming prime minister to appoint his own AG.”

He also said his decision to step down following the political change at the top was in line with tradition in the UK and other mature democracies.

Thomas’ appointment by Dr Mahathir had taken many by surprise after Pakatan Harapan had won the 2018 general election.

It was considered to be a break from convention when appointing a non-Malay and a non-civil servant as AG.

During his career as AG, Thomas had handled trials related to the 1MDB scandal including former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and former Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.

From the start, Thomas’ position was challenged by Umno, PAS and Malay NGOs who were uncomfortable with his position.

After stepping down he said he wants to take a break but is grateful to Dr Mahathir for giving him the privilege of serving Malaysia.

“I tried my best to do justice and prevent injustice until my last day in office. I am thankful for the privilege to serve,” he reportedly said.

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