Tommy Thomas: Dr M wanted me to resign a day after I was appointed

PETALING JAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had wanted former Attorney General (AG) Tan Sri Tommy Thomas to resign a day after he was appointed, said Thomas himself.

In the prologue to his memoir “My Story: Justice in the Wilderness”, Thomas revealed that Dr Mahathir had wanted him to step down due to the Malay opposition to his appointment as AG in June 2018.

He detailed how “elated and grateful” he had initially felt when the former premier had first told him that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had approved his appointment.

“The rug was immediately pulled from under my feet. Tun dropped a bombshell.

“Despite the King’s decision, Tun wanted me to resign because of the scale and magnitude of the Malay opposition to my appointment, ” he wrote.

He added that he was “utterly astonished” that the “professional opportunity of a lifetime” had slipped out of his fingers so quickly.

“Tun wanted my resignation the next day. Utterly dumbfounded and defeated, I told Tun that he would have to issue a press statement explaining my resignation.

“Meanwhile, news of the Agong’s assent to my appointment the previous day had become widespread. I returned to my law office feeling crushed.

“Everyone was so thrilled and proud to receive me as the new AG of Malaysia. I thanked them all and tried my hardest to maintain a brave face, ” he said.

Thomas said he reached out to close confidantes regarding the resignation, and to ask for help to draft a press statement.

“They were outraged, and insisted that I refuse to resign. They failed to convince me.

“I accepted that if Tun wanted me to resign I should oblige. It was his call, and I just had to respect, even if I could see no justification for it, ” he said.

The account can be found in a preview of Thomas’ book on its publisher Gerakbudaya’s Facebook post.

The preview did not show the events that had led Thomas to stay on as AG until his resignation in February 2020.

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