PETALING JAYA: Tommy Thomas has extensive experience in commercial and asset recovery cases in Malaysia, and is the right person to become the next Attorney-General (AG), say the partners in his law firm.
In a statement issued on Tuesday (June 5), the partners said that Thomas has spent the most part of his 42 years at the Bar as a corporate and commercial lawyer.
They said he was involved in landmark cases on corporate debts and asset recovery, for example acting for the Securities Commission against Swisscash, a worldwide Ponzi scheme that was hatched in Malaysia.
“As corporate asset recovery is topical, with the Government focused on recovering the assets of 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Berhad), there is no doubt in our mind that they have appointed Malaysia's finest barrister in that field, with the knowledge, experience and industry to lead the 1MDB litigation, whether civil or criminal,” said the partners.
In addition to his track record on commercial cases, they added that Thomas has also acted on major judicial reviews and constitutional matters.
Thomas has appeared in all the Courts of Malaysia and on appeals to the Privy Council in the mid-1980s as well.
“At a time when our country has resoundingly voted for integrity and accountability, placing Thomas at the helm of the major institution of justice and law is a true commitment to reform.
“While we shall obviously miss him, we are delighted for our country, as Thomas' combined talent, integrity, legal knowledge and experience, gives Malaysia one of its best and brightest barristers as its next AG,” the statement continued.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Muhammad V, consented to the appointment of Thomas as the new AG on Tuesday morning (June 5).
In a statement, the Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Wan Ahmad Dahlan Ab Aziz said the King, on the advice of the Prime Minister, gave his approval to the appointment of Thomas as the AG according to Article 145 (1) of the Federal Constitution.
The King, said Wan Ahmad, has also called on Malaysians to accept the appointment of the AG, adding it should not create conflict as every Malaysian should be treated fairly regardless of their race or religion.
“The appointment would still continue to uphold the special privileges of the Malays and bumiputra as well as Islam as the religion of the Federation,” said Wan Ahmad.
He said the King has also approved the termination of Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali as AG after taking into consideration the views of the Malay Rulers on three issues.
These issues are the appointment of the AG, the rights of the bumiputras, and the rule of the Council of Rulers as stated under Article 153 of the Federal Constitution.