S Thayaparan: The ‘ketuanan’ state tries to pin blame on Tommy Thomas…


COMMENT | The ‘ketuanan state’ attempts to pin blame on Tommy Thomas

S Thayaparan

18 May 2020, 7:02 am

“This is absolutely shocking because MACC were continuing with the lie after the truth had been pointed out to them.” 

– Former AG Tommy Thomas

COMMENT | Riza Abdul Aziz’s plea bargain, the stench of which is overpowering even for this kakistocracy, has the intended consequence of besmirching the reputation of former attorney-general Tommy Thomas. 

Now, you either believe Thomas when he says that the MACC is lying that he agreed to the plea deal or you can believe the MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki who claims, “… a deputy public prosecutor involved in the case had told him that Thomas agreed to the plea bargain”.

And the new AG, who apparently was advised that Thomas agreed in principle to this deal.

Some folks were quick to the point of gleefulness when the MACC claimed that Thomas sanctioned this deal. Everyone knows this deal stinks to high heaven, which is why it needs to be justified. Claims that Thomas approved of this deal, conveniently shifts the blame from the PN government and its apparatchiks to Thomas and Harapan.

This, of course, is ludicrous because for Harapan and its base, Najib and Co, is the apogee of everything they claim is wrong with the system. Najib returning is like Sauron reforming after the war of the last alliance and something that is dreaded by the Harapan faithful.

Azam (above) says the MACC stands by its statement. Malaysians are constantly told not to be fooled by fake news, but what the MACC has done is to engage in fake news, because all they have done is stand by a statement that is devoid of facts, unlike Thomas, who neatly laid out a chronology of events, citing the relevant facts where necessary.

What does it say of the MACC when a former AG accuses the organisation of lying, and the head of the MACC merely says that it if the former AG wants to deny, that’s up to him. What kind of banana republic is this? You do not provide any evidence that the former AG sanctioned this deal and then you merely dismiss his allegations that the graft busting body is lying. The same goes for the current AG, whose only defence for this deal – and really nobody from PN besides pointing to the loads of cash they hope to get from this deal – has justified it on moral grounds.

It is as if everyone has dropped the pretence of professionalism and independence. It is as if everyone associated with this regime has decided that, like Donald Trump, they can put out any lie and merely shrug it off as business as usual.

The current AG has claimed that he was “advised” that Thomas agreed in “principle” of the plea deal. Firstly, why didn’t the current AG just pick up the phone and ask Thomas his views on the matter, instead of being “advised”? This just makes no sense whatsoever.

Indeed, all this confusion could have been cleared up if Thomas was consulted on this issue, instead of the main players relying on vaguely worded advice and resorting to legalese to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes.

I mean, take this paragraph from the statement issued by the current AG: “Having been briefed by the deputy public prosecutors in charge of the matter, I shared the views of my predecessor as had been informed to me, and agreed to accept the offer that was made by Riza (photo, below), subject to his strict compliance with the terms and conditions.” The emphasis is mine. 

This is strange. The AG acknowledged that he had no first-hand knowledge but was relying on information supplied to him by the deputy prosecutor in charge.

When the apparatchiks of the “ketuanan state” indulge in this kind of malfeasance, they always like to name unnamed sources to give credibility to their mendacious acts. For instance, in 2007 then attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail attempted to link Hindraf with the LTTE in the infamous Batu Caves 31 murder trial.

Lim Kit Siang wrote: “What was the justification for the attorney-general leading the attack on Hindraf for its alleged terrorist links? Gani said his linking Hindraf to the LTTE in his argument at the Shah Alam Sessions Court on Wednesday was based on a police report. He said: Somebody lodged a police report that there is ground that these people have been going out to (establish) contact with this LTTE.”

Therefore, there is a pattern here. Someone said something, lodged a police report or told a superior, and the next thing you know, “this something told by someone” becomes “fact” and anonymous minions become the driving force of the ketuanan state’s agenda.

Claiming that Thomas sanctioned the Riza deal has the dual contradictory subtext of giving credibility to the deal while at the same time tarnishing the reputation of the former AG who was always on the crosshairs of the far-right and agents of the fascist state.

When Thomas dropped the charges against the LTTE 12, what it exposed was the deep mistrust of a security state that for decades was allowed to operate – as long as it offered protection to the political elite. Sources of Singapore’s Straits Times, from the state security apparatus, droned on about how they were disappointed in Thomas:  “Since the very beginning, Thomas was quite reluctant to charge them, especially the two DAP lawmakers, even though we have presented him with enough evidence to try them in court. Fighting terrorism will be harder now, since this case has set a precedent.”

How do you explain to people, especially to someone like the current PM who lost his job when the Najib regime retaliated against him, for allowing one of the alleged looters of this country to get off free? 

Let us not even consider the political implications of a lame-duck PM when it comes to freeing the child of one of your main supporters/antagonists in your feeble alliance. How do you frame the narrative for something like this?

S THAYAPARAN is Commander (Rtd) of the Royal Malaysian Navy. A retired barrister-at-law, he is one of the founding members of Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.



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