AG Tommy Thomas: See, engage, disturb for reforms

AG Tommy Thomas: See, engage, disturb for reforms

KUALA LUMPUR: Attorney General Tommy Thomas called upon the civil society organisations to continue engaging and educating the government agencies in pushing for necessary reforms for human rights.

“All have become complacent post May 9, expecting the government and me (to bring about reforms).  NGOs must engage stakeholders greater manner,” he said at the launch of Suaram’s 2018 human rights report launch.

“The journey has started and battles must be won. Malaysia is freer now.”

He acknowledged that the police do investigate matters when they felt that an offence is committed but it was ultimately his office that determined whether there was a case to prosecute.

“Civil rights prosecution is minimal. Engage permanently with the police and other agencies. You don’t need me to tell you that the Home Ministry is the most powerful ministry.

“Engage and educate them. It is hard work in the struggle to enhance civil liberty,” he said.

Thomas also pointed out that the failure of government in acceding to International Covenant for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) and the Rome Statute was due to the lack of political will.

“There are no legal impediments on ICERD and Rome Statute.  It is a political decision by the cabinet. Why not catch the Cabinet ministers? Catch Kula and Gobind who were former opposition now ministers.”

He was referring Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran and Communication and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo who were practicing lawyers prior to their cabinet positions.

“Please see, nab and disturb the ministers and MPs,” he added.

On his end, Thomas said that he would be happy to advice on civil liberty reforms. 

He is also hoping that human rights under Pakatan administration would improve for the better.

“Whatever the failures after four years, at least there is a good human rights track record.”

By K Pragalath

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