BOOK REVIEW | During the most controversial period in Malaysia’s judicial history - starting with the sacking of Salleh Abas and the suspension of five Supreme Court judges in 1988 and culminating with the Air Molek case in 1995 - Tommy Thomas was either directly involved, or at least had a ringside seat.
His latest book ‘My Story: Justice in the Wilderness’, among others, addresses the tumultuous period when the judiciary’s independence was in question. The perceived notion that the executive was imposing its will on the Bench was indeed cemented.
Thereafter, the relations between the Bar and the Bench started deteriorating, and despite some half-hearted attempts, they could hardly be described as cordial. It took some time for the Bar to recover from these events and to begin a meaningful Bar-Bench relationship. The book gives an intrusive insight into that acrimony and what led to Thomas being found guilty of contempt of court.
Although some attempts were made to identify and vilify the perpetrators in the past, nothing had been as scathing as Thomas has done in his book. He has spared no one, including past leaders of the Bench, their henchmen and other minor players who did their bidding...