PETALING JAYA: The National Patriots Association (Patriot) today welcomed the appointment of Tommy Thomas as attorney-general, taking to task those who opposed it based on racial and religious grounds.
Patriot president Brig-Gen (Rtd) Mohamed Arshad Raji said Thomas was widely recognised as an expert on the constitution and an experienced and respected litigator.
“Not being a Malay and Muslim is not, and should not, be the criteria for the appointment for legal, principle, and ethical reasons.
“Argument against his appointment by certain quarters that he is an Indian and Christian is parochial, racist, cocooned from the previous era of racial politics and has no place in today’s Malaysia,” he said in a statement.
Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V today gave his consent to Thomas’ appointment as attorney-general, ending weeks of uncertainty over the matter.
He also consented to the sacking of Mohamed Apandi Ali, who had been on unrecorded leave since May 15.
Saying a constitutional crisis had been averted, Arshad added that the veterans group was “colour-blind” when it came to the people of Malaysia.
“We have been commanders at different levels in the security forces. We had men of different races under our command,” he said.
“We treated every one as equal, commended and rewarded those based on merit and their capabilities. Our men felt cared for and loved, and esprit-de-corps was high, with a deep sense of belonging, self-respect, and loyalty.
“Our men were prepared to die or risk their legs being blown up because of their respect for the commander, even if the commander was a Malay, Chinese, Indian, Sikh or Iban.”
Urging the people to “think as Malaysians”, he added that any delay in appointing the new attorney-general would only frustrate the work ahead.
“With so much to do in so little time, nobody who has nothing to fear and who has committed no wrong should obstruct the appointment of the new attorney-general as recommended by the prime minister and his Cabinet.”