Tommy Thomas sues government & special taskforce over memoir investigation

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 18 : Tan Sri Tommy Thomas has filed a suit against the Malaysian government and the special task force that investigated his memoir entitled ‘My Story: Justice In the Wilderness’.

The former attorney-general filed the suit through Messrs Tommy Thomas at the High Court here on Dec 4 after the High Court ordered the originating summons to be changed to a civil suit on Oct 2 so that it could be heard and resolved through a full trial.

In the new suit, Thomas as plaintiff named eight taskforce member, Datuk Seri Fong Joo Chung, Datuk Seri Hashim Paijan, Datuk Dr Junaidah Kamarruddin, Datuk Jagjit Singh Bant Singh, Datuk Shaharudin Ali, K Balaguru, Farah Adura Hamidi, Mohd Najib Surip and the Malaysian government as first to ninth defendants.

In his statement of claim, Thomas alleged that on Sept 30, 2022, the first to eighth defendants had produced and presented to the ninth defendant (the government) a ‘Special Taskforce Report – Investigations into Allegations contained in the memoir “My Story: Justice In The Wilderness” by YHBG. Tan Sri Tommy Thomas, Former Attorney-General’.

He alleges that the report, among other things, stated his offences when holding the position of attorney general, revealing state secrets and intervening in the judiciary and the appointment of judges.

Thomas, who served as attorney-general from June 2018 to February 2022, said then prime minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who acted on behalf of the government at that time, instructed the related enforcement agencies to conduct further investigations into the possibility of misconduct on his behalf.

He also stated that during the Barisan Nasional gathering in Bagan Datuk on Oct 17, 2022, Ismail Sabri openly announced that he had declassified the report as an official secret so that it could be used as political ammunition during the 15th general election, and also asked the Law Minister at that time to publish the report.

“Therefore the appointment of the first to eighth defendants as special taskforce members was not purely for investigative purposes or a fact-finding mission into my behaviour as Attorney-General, but as political ammunition for personal and political purposes and as a reactionary measure to my decision to bring charges against UMNO members,” Thomas alleged.

He also stated that the special taskforce report was a document without legal authority as the appointment and terms of reference of the team was not supported by any written law and it was supposedly classified as by the government as an official secret under the Official Secrets Act 1972.

As such, the plaintiff is seeking a declaration that the report on the book is illegal and violated Section 499 and 500 of the Penal Code or Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, and breached the plaintiff’s right to have his reputation protected under Articles 5(1), 8(1), 13(1) of the Federal Constitution.

According to a check of the courts system, the case management has been set for Jan 30.