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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 4 — Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has today accused former attorney general Tan Sri Tommy Thomas of seeking publicity and failing to keep official secrets by publishing his tell-all memoir last week.
He also claimed that Thomas’ book is aimed at manipulating public sentiment and stirring up hatred and slander against Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN), and had attempted to weaken public confidence in the government.
“While the country is flooded with many issues that is worrying the public, his comments were irresponsible,” Zahid said in a statement.
Zahid accused Thomas of insulting deputy public prosecutors and the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) which the latter himself led, which he claimed may invite negative perception towards AGC staff.
“What is worrying is the factual statements written weren’t accurate and manipulated to sow hatred and slander towards Umno/BN, towards named individuals, political leaders and departments that he has led with the aim of skewing the public’s belief towards government institutions as a whole,” he said.
Zahid said it is a core aspect of any government department when any information obtained by officials are classified as major secrets, subject to the Official Secrets Act 1972 and as such should not be shared to the public, much less published in a book which he said advocated a point of view and not facts.
“What should be said here is the actions and conduct of the former attorney-general in writing this book is clearly against and in violation of his oath of office, to keep and guard government secrets at all times, even when no longer the incumbent,” he said.
He also accused Thomas of making remarks on the bloody May 13 racial riots in 1969 without considering the sensitivities of the incident among Malaysians.
“It should also not be taken as a historical fact for polemical reasons which tie the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein to May 13, which is clearly Thomas’ own personal opinion and is aimed at reducing the credibility of the former Umno president,” he said.
Zahid did not make it clear what Thomas’ said exactly concerning Abdul Razak, who was also prime minister from 1970 to 1976, and his supposed involvement in the May 13 incident.
Thomas’s 500-page book My Story: Justice in the Wilderness was published on January 30 and had generated intense interest and controversy of the issues and affairs that occurred during his tenure as the AG from 2018 to 2020.
Since then, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has issued a demand for an apology via his lawyers, as well as seeking RM10 million in damages, over allegations made against him in the book concerning the murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu in 2006.
He was followed by former solicitor general III Datuk Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria, who filed a police report against Thomas for allegedly claiming in the book that he was incapable of prosecuting Najib for corruption in the SRC International case.
Earlier today Thomas’ immediate predecessor as AG Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali also filed a police report, claiming he had violated the Official Secrets Act by publishing his memoir.