KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 — Caretaker prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today announced that the government would be declassifying its investigation report on the claims made by former attorney general Tan Sri Tommy Thomas in his memoir, My Story: Justice in the Wilderness.

In a statement today, Ismail Sabri said that the Malaysian government would also be proceeding with its review bid at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over both Malaysia and Singapore’s claim to Pulau Batu Puteh, which is also known as Pedra Branca.

During the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration, Malaysia withdrew its review application for Pulau Batu Puteh at the ICJ, which ruled that Singapore has sovereignty over Pulau Batu Puteh while Malaysia has sovereignty over the Middle Rocks.

“The Cabinet meeting was told of possible negligence and mistakes by former seventh prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, when Malaysia missed the opportunity to file a review application against the ICJ judgment in 2008, and the request for interpretation of Batu Puteh, Batuan Tengah (Middle Rocks) and Tubir Selatan after Dr Mahathir decided not to proceed with the application for review and interpretation of the judgment on June 11, 2018,” Ismail Sabri said in the statement.


Ismail Sabri said that two special task forces had submitted the Investigation Paper on the Allegations in the Book Titled My Story: Justice in The Wilderness and the Law Review Report on the Sovereignty Case of Batu Puteh, Batuan Tengah And Tubir Selatan to Cabinet meetings on September 30, 2022 and October 7, 2022, respectively.

He added that both groups had taken a variety of approaches, such as researching and reviewing documents and other related materials, conducting a series of discussions/meetings and work visits in and out of the country, consulting legal experts and international hydrographers, as well as interviewing relevant individuals.

“The recommendations on the government’s direction and the improvements proposed by the special task forces through these two reports are transparent, neutral, and inclusive, considering the results of analysis, research and observations of members of the special task forces. The implementation of these special task forces as a whole explains the government’s commitment to the best solution to this matter, for the well-being of the Malaysian Family,” he added.


On October 30, Ismail Sabri directed immediate investigations into possible wrongdoing by Thomas in the latter’s memoir.

Ismail Sabri said this was based on the report of the special task force investigating the matter, which was presented to Cabinet.

In a statement, the caretaker prime minister had said at the time that the investigations would be conducted under Sections 124(I) and 203A of the Penal Code, Section 4 of the Sedition Act 1948, Section 8 of the Official Secrets Act 1972, and Section 3 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Act 2009.

The allegations centred on four topics, namely the judiciary; the disclosure of government information and secrets; wrongful acts, abuse, and negligence; as well as seditious statements.

On August 29, then Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the special task force 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 was chaired by Sarawak state legal adviser and former Sarawak state attorney general Datuk Seri Fong Joo Chung.

Thomas was appointed as the AG after PH won the 2018 general election, and resigned after the administration collapsed in February 2020 due to Dr Mahathir’s resignation as the prime minister.

In January, Thomas wrote to Chung and said he has no intention of cooperating with the investigation as the task force’s creation is not only unprecedented but without legal basis, and potentially jeopardises the independence of the AGC.

After Thomas published My Story: Justice In The Wilderness in January last year, more than 100 police reports were made against him, most of which were by Umno members.

In the case of Pulau Batu Puteh meanwhile, on October 9, Ismail Sabri said the Cabinet had agreed to set up a special task force led by another former AG, Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali, which would seek the views of international legal experts about a request to review the ICJ decision.

Ismail said the Cabinet had also decided to obtain preliminary legal views about any negligence in the decision to discontinue the review and interpretation of the ICJ judgement.

Mohamad Apandi was once reported to have said that Malaysia had missed the opportunity to regain Pulau Batu Puteh after Dr Mahathir decided to withdraw the review and interpretation of the judgment on the island’s sovereignty case as well as Batuan Tengah and Tubir Selatan.

He said Dr Mahathir made the decision a few days before the case was scheduled to be heard at the ICJ on June 11, 2018.