Tommy Thomas dropped a bombshell and made history when he released his memoir “My Story: Justice in the Wilderness“.
As the first ever private, non-Malay and non-Muslim Attorney General (AG), being appointed by the first ever Prime Minister not from Barisan Nasional ( or its predecessor Alliance) coalition in our some 70 years national history, his memoir hit headlines with no-holds-barred revelations of what transpired before and during the short-lived 22 months Pakatan Harapan (PH) rule. The book was selling so fast that it went out of the first and second printing immediately after it was released, and we still don’t know when the third print will be available.
In the book, Tommy discusses the key decisions that he made during this stint as the AG. The expectation was high on him due to the circumstances he was called in. He was expected to charge Najib Razak and Jho Low, handle all the 1MDB messes and restore our judiciary system to its former glory. Despite winning the 14 GE with a convincing majority on the promise of anti-corruption, Tommy still had his work cut out for him, not least because of the then opposition UMNO and PAS astutely played the racial and religious cards very successfully. Besides that, a legal proceeding of this magnitude takes time, and in politics, things just change very fast. There is a very real possibility that he will get the sack even before any of his work comes to fruition because the PH government that appoints him gets booted out, either via democratic or undemocratic means.
Sadly, this was what happened. Tommy Thomas resigned as AG on 28 of February 2020, 4 days after the then Prime Minister, Mahathir Muhammad abruptly resigned ( and then advised Agong to appoint himself as the PM again) and his deputy, Muhyiddin pulled the party Bersatu out of the PH coalition, and the PH government collapsed. This is the infamous Sheraton Move. By then not even the first trial on Najib Razak had been concluded. There was still a long way to go to restore the justice, and to return the stolen monies to the rightful Malaysian people.
This is a no-holds-barred book, and Tommy courted controversies by saying “sensitive” things frankly, so much so that the Ministry of Home Affairs is now deliberating on whether to ban the book. It’s really unclear on what grounds the Ministry of Home Affairs think the book should be banned? Is it about Tun Razak as the mastermind of the infamous 513 event? Or is it about Mahathir’s (negative) role in Sheraton Move? Or maybe Muhyiddin and Hamzah ( the Home Affairs Minister) think that Najib shouldn’t be badmouthed?
We are still awaiting the decision. But I would say that what Tommy wrote is not really news to those who bother to spend a minimum amount of time to even just glance at the newspaper headlines. Take for example, the role Mahathir played in the Sheraton Move. Despite that no one was really saying it out loud, it was as clear as daylight that Mahathir was not going to pass the baton to Anwar as he had promised from the very start. It really doesn’t take a genius to read the old fox’s mind. Ditto for 1MDB and the role of Goldman Sachs in it.
What about the “seditious” charge that Tun Razak was behind he 513 event? Well, on that ground the book “might” be worth banning, but then Nazir Razak, the former CIM banker and the son of Tun Razak came out to refute this view point, which has the same effect as promoting it. So banning it no longer serves the purpose; the genie is out of the bottle and everyone now knows.
Furthermore, the electronic copies of the book is available everywhere. I received a few digital copies of the book on the very day it was released. Not only that, you can now simply read the book for FREE and LEGALLY under the Kindle Unlimited program.
Yes, it’s available right there, at no charge.
Banning the book ( or any book) has the opposite effect of promoting it and reinforcing the credibility. At the start, I wasn’t even interested to touch Tommy’s book, because I held the view that there is nothing in the book that is both new and interesting. I didn’t change my mind after speed reading it. But then the government contemplated the ban, and so I felt obliged to read and promote it. I’m pretty sure many would agree.
If the ban does materialize, I can foresee that more people would get a kindle and/or a Kindle Unlimited program just to get access to it, that couldn’t be too bad for our business. 🙂
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