PETALING JAYA: The attorney-general, Tommy Thomas, should give priority to national security or otherwise resign, former education minister Maszlee Malik said today.
Maszlee, who is MP for Simpang Renggam, said Thomas had failed to take into account the national security policies set out by the home ministry when he dropped criminal charges against 12 people over alleged links to the now-defunct Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Maszlee said Thomas’s failure was not merely wrong but also went against his role as the federal government’s main legal adviser.
He said the power to list or de-list an organisation as a terrorist group rests with the home ministry.
“As long as it is not changed by the home minister, it remains the government’s decision to look after the country’s safety through agencies and government bodies such as the police,” he said.
Maszlee also said the AG should prioritise national security or otherwise resign from his post. Even though the AG had different responsibilities as the public prosecutor, he should not act against national policies.
Yesterday, Thomas announced he had decided to drop the charges against 12 people accused of having links to LTTE. He said there was “no realistic prospect” of obtaining convictions on any of the 34 charges brought against them.
The 12 people include two DAP politicians – G Saminathan, a state executive councillor in Melaka and assemblyman for Gadek, and P Gunasekaran, assemblyman for Seremban Jaya. They were detained in October by the police counter-terrorism division in various parts of the country.
Thomas’s announcement came a week after federal police announced a new head for counter-terrorism, to replace Ayob Khan Mydin Khan, who was promoted as Johor police chief from March 6.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam conducted a 26-year civil war against the Sri Lanka government to establish an independent territory in the northern Tamil-speaking areas. The civil war ended with the defeat of the LTTE in May 2009.