KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's king, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V, has given his consent to the appointment of Tommy Thomas as the new Attorney-General.
A palace official said the king had, on the advice of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, given his consent to the appointment according to Article 145 (1) of the Federal Constitution.
“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,” he said.
In a statement dated Monday (Jun 4) and issued by Istana Negara to Bernama early this morning, Wan Ahmad Dahlan said the appointment would continue to preserve the special rights and privileges of the Malays and Bumiputeras, as well as the status of Islam as the the federal religion.
“After taking into account the opinions of the Malay Rulers on (i) the appointment of Attorney-General, (ii) the rights of Bumiputeras and (iii) the roles of the Council of Rulers as stated under Article 153 of the Federal Constitution, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong also consented to Tan Sri Apandi Ali’s termination of service as Attorney-General by the federal government,” he said.
Wan Ahmad Dahlan also said that Sultan Muhammad V had expressed his disappointment and worry about inaccurate and negative media reports of late which could threaten peace and harmony in the country.
“His Majesty said that he has an obligation to uphold the Federal Constitution and preserve the special rights of the Malays and Bumiputeras, as well as to protect Islam,” he added.
Dr Mahathir Mohamad had recently proposed to nominate renowned lawyer Tommy Thomas as Attorney-General to replace Tan Sri Apandi Ali.
Mahathir's nomination of the senior lawyer faced backlash among the Malay rulers, with the prime minister reportedly asked to consider other candidates, according to local media.
The issue also caused division among the Malaysian public as petitions - both objecting and supporting Thomas' nomination - have cropped up.
Parti Islam Se-Malaysia's information chief on Saturday also protested against the government's pick, saying that the candidate should be an individual "who can protect Islam as the official religion of the country".
The Pakatan Harapan government had defended its nomination of Thomas, saying that it would be the right signal to send to Malaysians and the rest of the world that the new administration was serious about reforming the country's institutions.