KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 1 — The Malaysian Bar Council said today its reservations towards joining the special task force investigating former attorney general Tan Sri Tommy Thomas over his memoirs were correct based on the declassification of its findings.
Responding to de facto law minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar’s criticism for disputing the legitimacy of the task force, Malaysian Bar president Karen Cheah said the decision now appeared doubly justified given the lawsuit Thomas has filed over the task force.
“It is therefore not entirely accurate to state that ‘the Bar Council was not keen to participate’ as stated in the special task force report, neither is it accurate to state that the Bar had ‘failed’ or ‘refused’ to participate, without considering or taking into account the context as to how and why the Bar’s non-participation came about,” she said in a statement.
She then reiterated that the Malaysian Bar would not have been able to effectively participate in the task force as it would have no way of verifying the contents of Thomas’s memoirs.
Cheah also said not participating in the task force did not in any way invalidate the Malaysian Bar’s prerogative to question the legitimacy of the government panel.
On Thursday, Wan Junaidi criticised the Malaysian Bar for disputing the legal standing of the special task force, and said allegations that caretaker prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri was using the report as political fodder to be baseless.
In his lawsuit, Thomas claimed the eight-man task force was set up illegally as they were not appointed under the authority of any written law, and as such is unlawful and illegal.