Heads are certainly rolling in the Attorney General’s (AG) Chambers!
Newly elected AG, Tommy Thomas reports to work on the 6th of June with a sense of commitment to execute his duties.
This too signifies the formal removal of Apandi Ali, former AG from his office under Article 145(1) of the Federal Constitution.
Aside from bright smiles, our newly elected AG has more to offer. As they say, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.
So, here’s 10 things you should know about Tommy Thomas:
1) A law graduate who serves many.
Aside from reading law at the University of Manchester, he studied International Relations at the London School of Economics.
He was called to the Malaysian Bar in 1976. Since then, he served the Bar Council and started his career in Skrine and Co.
2) He owns a law firm.
Currently, Tommy Thomas is a partner at Tommy Thomas Advocates & Solicitors, a boutique law firm in Bangsar.
Along with Sitpah Selvaratnam, they wanted a law firm small in size as it ensures quality in the services provided.
3) He reads. A LOT.
Ashikin Rahim, a former employee at Tommy’s firm praises Tommy’s ability to read. He owns a library in his house which she describes to be a “small state library”.
She also adds, “He reads EVERY single print of the Malayan Law Journal and All England Reports. It’s almost impossible to cheat him in court because he knows the law too well.”
4) He is the author of several law books.
In 2016, he published two of his works entitled Anything but The Law (literally the book was about anything BUT the law) and Abuse of Power which focused on the Constitution.
Honestly, this shouldn’t be a surprise. He is an avid reader after all.
5) He is very strict.
Ashikin states in her Facebook post that Tommy never lets the phone ring in the firm for more than 3 times!
Although court cases generally start at 9 AM, her boss would show up at least 45 minutes to an hour earlier.
6) He is consistently praised for his high caliber in the industry.
Aside from being a Constitutional Expert, he is ranked as ‘one of Malaysia’s leading litigation lawyer’.
He also appears in international publication such as the Asia Pacific Legal 500, Which Lawyer and more. Some of their comments were:
“Tommy Thomas has an excellent based on success in some of Malaysia’s most significant court cases in recent years.”
“Peers have frequently used the word ‘fantastic’ when describing his expertise.”
7) He led a counsel in the case of MH370.
Tommy was acting on behalf of Tan Ah Meng, his wife and their eldest son. As reported in the Star, the issue was whether Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) could be retained as the defendant in their lawsuit.
8) He also represented Lim Guan Eng in court.
Tommy represented Lim Guan Eng with regards to allegations of his involvement in corruption cases.
However, the Prime Minister on the 3rd of June comments that Tommy’s competency should be given priority regardless of who he has represented in the past.
9) He is a true fighter for justice
Tommy Thomas is one who places emphasis on public interest litigation or pro bono cases.
This meant that the firm absorbs all litigation cost to fight for the weak (even if the outcome of a case was less likely favorable). As to why he does this, Tommy simply says, ‘someone has to fight for this lot.‘
10) “The Best Boss Ever”
We’ve seen lots of talk about Thomas. He’s strict and disciplines with a clear code of conduct. But did you also know he treats his staff really well?
Ashikin explains that during her time with Thomas, the partners treated them to expensive meals, holidays and even providing monthly allowance as well as duit dapat anak.
She highlighted, ‘I even got a fat cheque for my wedding gift and the bosses came all the way to Kuantan.’
With all this, we at the CanLaw Report are filled with hope and are excited to see what the new AG has in store for the nation.
Tommy Thomas would likely bring an impartial and independent change to the role of the AG in Malaysia, thus reducing the lack of trust in the public in that position.