Monday, October 18, 2021

Special task force to investigate claims by ex-AG Thomas

The task force will investigate, among others, Tommy Thomas' claims of abuse of power in the appointment of judges made in his recent autobiography.

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The government has agreed to form a task force to investigate the claims made by former attorney-general Tommy Thomas in his autobiography, “My Story: Justice in the Wilderness”.

Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said this was one of several decisions made at the Cabinet meeting yesterday.

He said the purpose of the task force, among others, would be to investigate Thomas’ claims of abuse of power in the appointment of judges, excessive interference by the executive in the judiciary, political and selective prosecution, and breach of oath of confidentiality.

“The Cabinet has agreed to establish a special task force to conduct a preliminary study before any further action is taken regarding the claims,” he said in a statement today.

He said the task force would be chaired by a former chief judge who would be appointed as soon as possible.

“Meanwhile, the legal affairs division and the Attorney-General’s Chambers will act as the secretariat,” he said.

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had previously called for a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) into Thomas’ claims about political interference in matters concerning the judiciary.

He said the request for an RCI into the revelations by Thomas was one of several matters discussed and agreed on during a meeting of the Umno Supreme Council in late August attended by Ismail, who is Umno vice-president.

“Umno must be a pioneer in efforts for institutional reform in the various branches of government,” he had said.

His call was questioned by opposition leaders who asked if it was a ploy by Zahid and the so-called court cluster to escape legal repercussions.

Ismail today also announced an investigation into the 2018 death of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim, who had suffered serious injuries during a riot at a temple in Subang Jaya, and a review of the laws related to the Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh affair.

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