Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan (Patriot) fully supports the government in naming Tommy Thomas for the post of attorney general (AG) and we thank the Yang DiPertuan Agong for his consent. Thus a constitutional crisis has been averted.
The argument against his appointment by certain quarters that he is an Indian and Christian is parochial, racist and cocooned from the previous era of racial politics; it has no place in today’s Malaysia.
While the Bar Council of Malaysia, Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, and others have argued on the legal points based on the Constitution, more importantly Tommy Thomas is widely recognised as the expert on the Constitution. He is an experienced litigator, untainted and respected. Not being a Malay and Muslim is not and should not be criteria for the appointment for legal, principled and ethical reasons.
The people have voted in the Pakatan Harapan government and the cabinet’s recommendation also reflects the wishes of the people. Any delay in appointing the new attorney general will frustrate the load of work to be done, especially when there are heaps of discrepancies, abuse, and possible criminal acts that have been discovered since the new government took over.
With so much to do in so little time, nobody who has nothing to fear and or who has committed no wrong should obstruct the appointment of the new attorney general as recommended by the prime minister and his cabinet.
Patriot would like to reiterate that we are colour blind concerning the Malaysian people. We were commanders at different levels in the security forces. We had men of different races under our command. We treated every one as equal, commended and rewarded those based on merit and their capabilities.
Our men felt cared, loved and the 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 the respect for their commander, even if the commander was a Malay, Chinese, Indian, Sikh or Iban.
Patriot implores all to think as Malaysians. Let us unite to face the challenges ahead and rebuild our nation. Let us give our full support to Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his new government.
BG Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji (rtd) is president of Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan.