By Mariam Mokhtar
The memoir written by the former attorney-general, Tommy Thomas, besmirched many reputations, but not his own.
Those who claimed to be upset or sit on the fence, like the Opposition leader and prime-minister-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim, probably have something to hide.
They have become very defensive about some of the contents of Thomas' book, "My Story: Justice in the Wilderness".
On his Facebook page, Anwar begins his review by insulting the rakyat with his comment, that Thomas' book, "…recently hit the streets and thanks perhaps to the public's yearning for sensational news about anything other than the coronavirus or new SOPs, has been selling like hot cakes."
No Anwar! You are clearly misguided or have misread the public. Malaysians are not looking for sensationalism. Malaysians want an honest account of the workings of the state, not more excuses.
Thomas made some interesting revelations about former judge Hamid Omar and proved Hamid's damning role in the Constitutional Crisis of 1988. It was one of the darkest moments in Malaysian history. It also shows how easy it is to corrupt members of the judiciary. What has Anwar to say about this?
For several decades, Malaysia has been plagued by an inefficient government, corrupt politicians, mediocrity, a lack of transparency, cover-ups, threats and bullying. Affirmative action policies have given rise to a civil service which lacks integrity, and principle. Has Anwar forgotten that he was once part of the Umno hierarchy, until he was swept-off his pedestal?
Thomas is not stupid. Why would he make things up just to sensationalize his book? Perhaps Anwar is pandering to the Malays in his perpetual bid to remain a career politician.
Anwar's verbose and lengthy criticism of the book, in his Facebook page, is a novella in itself. What is the use of flowery fluffly language, and quoting the poets John Milton and Robert Frost? There is no need to impress us with his literary knowledge.
Can Anwar remember how we were embarrassed by the performance of government lawyers and coroners during the inquests for Teoh Beng Hock, fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim and Mongolian model Altantuya Shaarriibuu? Can he recall how the former AG Apandi Ali did not think that the felon Najib Abdul Razak was guilty? Is Anwar not furious that former Sabah Chief Minister, Musa Aman, was given a full acquittal by the current AG, despite the allegations of large scale corruption?
Malaysians are not daft. They realize that Thomas did not insult all civil servants, as he was full of praise for his team and those with whom he enjoyed a working relationship.
Anwar may have forgotten that Malaysia is a multicultural country. He may have neglected to realize that many of our youth have seen that Malay leaders had brought the country to its knees, long before the coronavirus pandemic.
To revive the economy, all Malaysians, from all sections of the community, must work together, and be helped by a clean, efficient, hardworking civil service. Thomas realizes that race and religion are detrimental to the nation.
The obsolete former PM and nonagenarian, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Anwar, the current Attorney-General, the former AG, Apandi Ali, and a host of other Malay leaders, politicians and individuals have been upset by the revelations in Thomas' book.
134 police reports have been lodge against Thomas. This is a waste of police resources, time and manpower.
Why don't his critics work on the shortcomings mentioned instead of issuing police reports and law suits?
The country has yet to see a leader who is not afraid to speak the unvarnished truth. We are desperate for a leader who has the courage to say what has to be said, and is eager to make a difference, to effect real change and meaningful reform.
So far, we have had a succession of leaders who only show us that they have not lost their Umno genetic make-up
We expect Anwar to use ghost writers, but he should get better ones. This one has made a hash of the review of Thomas' book.
For instance, Churchill's original wartime quote during the Battle of Britain was, "Never was so much owed by so many to so few", meaning that the general population owed so much to the Air Force pilots who fought off wave after wave of attacks from the Luftwaffe.
So, what did Anwar mean when he paraphrased Churchill's quote, "… never in the field of memoirs have so much been written by so many about so few"?
Anwar continues to pander to the Malay masses, so he may as well say goodbye to his desire to be the PM of Malaysia.
A man, who cannot see how race and religious are driving the nation into the ground, is not fit to be an MP, let alone a PM.
1. Facebook: Anwar Ibrahim
2. New Straits Times; Kelantan police receive 15 reports against Tommy Thomas's book
3. New Straits Times: 134 police reports lodged against Tommy Thomas' book
4. New Straits Times: AG's Chambers clears Najib of wrongdoing in donation, SRC International cases
(Mariam Mokhtar is a Freelance Writer.)