Adib inquest tops Umno Youth's 10 reasons for PM to fire AG

Modified 14 Jun 2019, 8:15 am

Umno Youth has cited 10 reasons for Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to terminate the services of Tommy Thomas as the attorney-general.

The wing's chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki said if it is true that the Pakatan Harapan government upholds the rule of law, then Thomas should step down or be shown the exit.

“...Based on these 10 reasons, Umno Youth stresses that Thomas is unqualified to continue as attorney-general. He should resign or be fired with immediate effect by the prime minister,” he added, according to Umno Online.

Topping the list of Umno Youth's reasons was lawyer Syazlin Mansor's allegations that attempts were made to disrupt the inquest into firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim's death.

Syazlin, who is representing Adib's family, claimed the attempts started after the expert witness she brought in testified that the firefighter could have been assaulted during last November's Seafield Temple riots.

This had contradicted the theories of two other pathologists who claimed Adib could have sustained his fatal injuries when a Fire and Rescue Department vehicle reversed into him when escaping an advancing mob.

Syazlin previously represented the Housing and Local Government Ministry as well as the Fire and Rescue Department, but was forced to withdraw following Thomas' instruction.

The attorney-general later said this was done due to fear of conflict of interest as she was also acting for the deceased's family. Thomas also said Syazlin often contradicted the position taken by the deputy public prosecutors.

Meanwhile, Asyraf also pointed to the Attorney-General's Chambers filing an affidavit stating that the death of Adib was not due to him being beaten by any party, even before the inquest has been completed.

“This shows how weak and unfamiliar Thomas is with the proceedings of an inquest, and his credibility with regard to exercising his responsibilities in an independent manner is in doubt,” he added.

The other nine reasons stated by Umno Youth are:

1. The existence of selective prosecution and dropping of charges such as the corruption case against Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng when the court proceeding was underway and witnesses testifying;

2. Thomas failing to provide fair and holistic legal advice to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Conference of Rulers on the impact of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court on the Federal Constitution and Malay rulers;

3. Thomas not respecting the decision of the Conference of Rulers and government on the Rome Statute by participating in a forum which openly criticised the cabinet's decision to withdraw from the Rome Statute and allegedly belittled the Malay rulers;

4. Thomas failing to advise the prime minister and Agong on the need to form a special tribunal to determine whether the former Election Commission (EC) commissioners had committed wrongdoings. This was allegedly embarrassing because the tribunal proved to be futile, unproductive and a waste of government's time and resources;

5. Thomas hiring an external lawyer, Sitpah Selvaratnam, to handle matters related to the luxury yacht Equanimity which resulted in RM2 million in legal fees when the matter was just a default judgement and there was no trial;

(According to a breakdown of Equanimity costs provided by Thomas, RM1.6 million was paid to Messr Joseph & Partners, RM360,000 to lawyer Ong Chee Kwa, and RM40,000 to Messrs Holman Fenwick Willan. Sitpah, who was the government's lead counsel, received no payment.)

6. Thomas allegedly ignoring the rule of law when he dropped high-profile cases involving foreigners, namely the Vietnamese and Indonesian suspects in the Kim Jong Nam murder, and the death of domestic worker Adelina Sau;

7. Thomas allegedly tarnishing the image of the attorney-general's independence and integrity after a video of him dancing with lawyer Siti Kasim emerged, not long before a criminal case against her for showing a rude gesture to someone at a forum was dropped;

8. The spread of an audio recording of Siti talking about discussions with Thomas regarding the federal government's lawsuit against the Kelantan state government over the plight of the Gua Musang Orang Asli, which purportedly brought the credibility and integrity of the attorney-general into question; and

9. Thomas's announcement that the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) can be used as qualifications for the Certificate in Legal Practice (CLP) course, which was deemed as a challenge towards the status quo and sovereignty of the Federal Constitution.

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