Indian-Origin Lawyer Tommy Thomas Appointed As Attorney General For Malaysia

Indian-Origin Lawyer Tommy Thomas Appointed As Attorney General For Malaysia

Amidst protests from Islamic groups, Malaysia's king has approved the appointment of ethnic Indian lawyer, Mr. Tommy Thomas as the new Attorney General.

With this appointment, Mr. Thomas has become the first person from the minority community to hold the post in 55 years. Having been nominated by the newly-elected 92-year-old Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir Mohamad, he now replaces the former Attorney General Mohamed Apandi Ali.

His appointment was confirmed by a statement issued by Malaysia's king, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V. The statement reportedly said, "The Yang di-Pertuan Agong also called on all Malaysians to accept that the appointment of the Attorney-General should not create religious or racial conflict as every Malaysian should be fairly treated regardless of race and religion."

This was in order to address the concerns raised by groups representing ethnic Malays, who make up two-thirds of Malaysia's 31 million people, demanding that the top legal job be given to a Muslim to protect the status of Islam as the official religion.

As per reports, Mr. Thomas has been in the legal profession in Malaysia for 42 years. He is an alumnus of Victoria Institution, the University of Manchester and the London School of Economics. He was called to the Bar in the United Kingdom in 1975 and to the Malaysian Bar in 1976.

He has also published two books- ‘Abuse of Power’ and ‘Anything but the Law’, which were essentially collections of his essays on law and the Federal Constitution; and politics and economics.