The Attorney General of Malaysia
The Honourable Tan Sri Tommy Thomas
The Attorney General is the principal legal adviser to the Government. His role and responsibilities are provided for in Article 145 of the Federal Constitution. Article 145 of the Federal Constitution provides:
(1) The Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall, on the advice of the Prime Minister, appoint a person who is qualified to be a judge of the Federal Court to be the Attorney General for the Federation.
(2) It shall be the duty of the Attorney General to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or the Cabinet or any Minister upon such legal matters, and to perform such other duties of a legal character, as may from time to time be referred or assigned to him by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or the Cabinet, and to discharge the functions conferred on him by or under this Constitution or any other written law.
(3) The Attorney General shall have power, exercisable at his discretion, to institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence, other than proceedings before a Syariah court, a native court or a court-martial.
(3A) Federal law may confer on the Attorney General power to determine the courts in which or the venue at which any proceedings which he has power under Clause (3) to institute shall be instituted or to which such proceedings shall be transferred.
(4) In the performance of his duties the Attorney General shall have the right of audience in , and shall take precedence over any other person appearing before, any court or tribunal in the Federation.
(5) Subject to Clause (6), the Attorney General shall hold office during the pleasure of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and may at any time resign his office and, unless he is a member of the Cabinet, shall receive such remuneration as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may determine.
(6) The person holding the office of Attorney General immediately prior to the coming into operation of this Article shall continue to hold the office on terms and conditions not less favourable than those applicable to him immediately before such coming into operation and shall not be removed from office except on the like grounds and in the like manner as a judge of the Federal Court.
Toe the line or resign, Maszlee tells AG over LTTE decision
Published: 8:07 pm | Modified: 8:12 pm
Former education minister Maszlee Malik has urged Attorney-General Tommy Thomas to either toe the government line or resign.
This comes over a month after Maszlee himself was asked to resign as minister for allegedly disobeying cabinet directives.
In a statement today, Maszlee said Thomas’s decision to drop the charges against 12 people over alleged ties to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was wrong as it had not taken into account Putrajaya’s stance that the group were still considered terrorists.
“This is also against the attorney general’s role as the federal government’s main legal advisor,” he added.
“I urge Thomas to adhere to government policies again and prioritise national security or resign as attorney-general,” he said.
Maszlee, who is Simpang Renggam MP, was asked to resign as education minister by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad early last month.
A letter leaked to the media indicated that, among others, Maszlee was asked to quit for failing to follow cabinet directives on the teaching of Jawi in schools, free Internet service for schools and the free breakfast programme for pupils.
In his 11-page statement, Thomas had said he was discontinuing prosecution as the common thread among all of the 12 LTTE-linked suspects was that they simply had photos of slain LTTE leaders, such as Velupillai Prabhakaran, in their phones or Facebook accounts.
He also said the home minister’s order declaring an entity a terrorist group was not meant to be permanent and should be reviewed every six months to find out whether there were still reasonable grounds for such an order to continue.
However, this was rebuffed by Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who said that LTTE would remain classified as a terrorist group and that such decisions were not under the attorney-general’s ambit.
The LTTE became defunct in 2009 after it was defeated by the Sri Lankan army.