When I became the 7th Prime Minister, I decided to appoint Tommy Thomas. I knew Malays would not like it. But the Malay AGs had not been true to their profession. I was prepared to face criticisms from the Malays

Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad

TOMMY THOMAS
3 Feb 2021 | http://chedet.cc/?p=3323
** Versi Bahasa Malaysia menyusul di akhir posting ini


1. I was shocked to read excerpts from Tommy Thomas’ book My Story: Justice in the Wildness. Tommy was one of those lawyers who hated me. But before I became once again Prime Minister Tommy came with Zainur Zakaria and Ambiga, both who at one time were against me, and Zainur Zakaria recommended Tommy for the post of Attorney General (AG).
2. At that time I was disillusioned with a number of Malay A.G. who were prepared to obey the Prime Minister (Najib) even when instructed to do something obviously wrong. I thought it would be a good thing if the A.G. is not a Malay.
3. When I became the 7th Prime Minister, I decided to appoint Tommy Thomas. I knew Malays would not like it. But the Malay AGs had not been true to their profession. I was prepared to face criticisms from the Malays. But I could not stop my Malay critics from condemning me over Tommy Thomas’ appointment as A.G.
4. I was generally satisfied with Tommy’s work. He explained to me that there was no case against the so-called supporters of LTTE. I accepted his explanation and wrote to Muhyiddin, the Minister of Home Affairs. He dropped the case. The anger of the Malays against me was terrible.
5. Tommy knew nothing about my resignation. According to Tommy I told him that the Agong had wanted to appoint Wan Azizah as Interim Prime Minister. This is nonsense. After reluctantly accepting my resignation, the Agong suggested I become Interim Prime Minister. Wan Azizah could not be Acting Prime Minister or Interim Prime Minister because the PH Government had already collapsed.
6. My reason for resigning was because my own party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, rejected my advise not to leave Pakatan Harapan because at the meeting of the Presidential Council of PH all the members agreed to let me decide when I should step down. Clearly they were not in favour of my stepping down to give way to Anwar. Anwar and Wan Azizah attended that meeting.
7. At the meeting of the Supreme Council of Bersatu, on Sunday my appeal to give time before deciding to leave PH was rejected. I knew that when Bersatu together with Azmin’s faction of PKR left PH, the PH Government would fall as it lost the majority.
8. Although I pleaded to be given a week for me to decide, that night Bersatu, Azmin’s faction of PKR, UMNO and PAS had a dinner in Sheraton Petaling Jaya. I refused to attend, because I was not informed beforehand. Obviously Bersatu, led by Muhyiddin had agreed to form a coalition with UMNO, PAS together with Azmin’s faction. PH was no longer the Government. They could not wait one week for me to decide.
9. I thought about the rejection of my advice by the Supreme Council of Bersatu in the light of Bersatu’s participation at Sheraton. I concluded that I had lost the confidence of Bersatu and therefore I must resign as its Chairman. If I resign as Chairman I no longer represent the party in the PH. So I decided to resign as Prime Minister as well.
10. After having informed the PH coalition leaders, I expected to have an audience with the King that afternoon. I believe he had already received my resignation letter when I met him that afternoon. He at first refused to accept my resignation. I was adamant and he then accepted it. But immediately he asked me to be interim Prime Minister.
11. He never proposed any other name, certainly not Wan Azizah, the Deputy Prime Minister (DPM). I never offered myself but it would be rude for me not to accept his proposal.
12. At that time the Pakatan Harapan Government had already fallen, as Muhyiddin had announced Bersatu had left PH at noon. Wan Azizah as DPM could not take my place as PH was no longer the Government. Nor could any member of PH take over from me.
13. The King decided that the 222 members of Parliament should nominate a new Prime Minister who had the support of the majority of the members. He wanted them to make their choice by signing a statutory declaration in front of him.
14. It took two days with him witnessing the members naming their candidates and signing the declaration.
15. I did not put myself up as a candidate but I did expect to win. As I related above the Presidential Council of PH decided to let me determine when I should leave. On the other hand YB Hamzah Zainuddin, who plotted the fall of Pakatan Harapan, had obtained statutory declaration from all of UMNO and PAS MPs that they supported me as Prime Minister.
16. I thought that my position was strengthened because I had the support of Government MPs as well as opposition MPs. But Hamzah’s plan was to get me to head a new coalition consisting of UMNO, PAS and Bersatu. I would still be Prime Minister and that should persuade me to leave PH.
17. But the Pakatan Harapan MPs did not name me as their candidate when they made their statutory declaration in front of the Agong. Anwar had persuaded them that he had enough support from Sabah and Sarawak MPs and with PH MPs to have a majority to become Prime Minister. So they named Anwar as the PH candidate.
18. But actually he had the support of only DAP, Amanah and his faction of his PKR. They totalled 92. I managed to get only 62. So both of us lost.
19. When Muhyiddin was named Prime Minister he did not have majority support. But upon his appointment he was able to offer places in his cabinet to the members who supported me. They crossed over and Muhyiddin achieved a majority of two.
20. During the time when Tommy Thomas was A.G. I got on quite well with him. He would see me for all major issues. I trusted him and defended him when Malays condemned him. His term was ending. I recommended a Tan Sri-ship for him.
21. PAS never directly asked me to drop him. But I had taken so much bashing because of him that I felt he should not continue after ending his term.
22. But when I resigned as Prime Minister he came to see me to inform me that since I appointed him and since I was no longer PM he should also resign.
23. His account about my resignation is quite fantastic. I had always been labelled a dictator by the opposition when I was Prime Minister. I never expected the Opposition to adore me. That would not justify their opposition against me. But I resigned in 2003 because I felt I had been PM too long. Dictators don’t resign. But of course those who were against me were not going to stop claiming I was a dictator.
24. I don’t believe in overstaying my welcome. In 2020 I resigned as Bersatu Chairman not because I wished to, but my party had lost their confidence in me. Besides I believed the PH had lost its majority and could no longer be the Government. I also resigned as Prime Minister. Actually this was not necessary as the collapse of the PH Government meant I was no longer PM.
25. As far as the Cabinet is concerned, when PH lost the majority, the Cabinet could not be sustained. Article 43 of the Constitution, para (4) says “If the Prime Minister ceases to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the House of Representatives, then, unless at his request the Yang di- Pertuan Agong dissolves Parliament, the Prime Minister shall tender the resignation of the Cabinet.”
26. The situation was different from 1969, when Perikatan had a majority. It was not overthrown as PH was. The Tunku was expected to be the PM. But emergency was declared and NOC (National Operations Council) was formed headed by Tun Razak. Later when the Tunku resigned, Tun Razak was appointed PM. He had the majority as Perikatan had won the election.
27. Similarly Barisan Nasional (BN) had the majority when Hussein decided not to contest and I became President of UMNO and Prime Minister.
28. When I resigned in 2020 Pakatan Harapan had lost its majority and the Agong could not simply appoint Wan Azizah, the Deputy Prime Minister as Prime Minister. Neither did the Agong ask Wan Azizah to be Interim Prime Minister.
29. There is no provision for Interim Prime Minister. I accepted the designation because choosing a Prime Minister by the 222 Members of Parliament would take time. The country needed a temporary head of Government. Once the members had chosen the new Prime Minister, my appointment would cease. But the members did not give anyone a clear majority. Anwar had 92 while I had 62.
30. Yes. My resignation was personal. I never submitted the resignation of the Cabinet. But when the PH Government fell, there was no way the Cabinet could remain. It had to go down with the Government.
31. I cannot understand how a lawyer cannot understand this was not a change of Prime Minister. The PH Government had lost. The Agong could not appoint Wan Azizah, the Deputy Prime Minister as acting Prime Minister. Like me, she did not have a majority after PH was overthrown by Bersatu leaving together with Azmin’s faction of PKR or Justice Party. Neither did the Cabinet.
32. As interim Prime Minister my job was to help set up a Government. The politicians were all talking about their parties’ interests, not about the nation.
33. I thought we should all forget about our parties and think about the nation. So I told all party heads that we should have a Unity Government and parties should forget their individual agenda. We should also bring in non-politicians into the Government.
34. I remembered well that Tun Razak, as head of NOC, tried to bring in all the opposition parties into the Government. He succeeded with Gerakan, PAS and SUPP. But DAP refused. Still he felt justified in naming the new coalition, the National Front or Barisan Nasional.
35. I thought that something similar was needed. But I failed because Kit Siang said I was trying to become a dictator. He supported Anwar as the PH candidate. Had the 92 votes gone to me I would have 154 votes. You can imagine what direction the nation would take when all parties put the nation first.
*****

1. Saya terkejut membaca petikan dari buku Tommy Thomas My Story: Justice in the Wilderness. Tommy adalah salah seorang peguam yang benci saya. Tetapi sebelum saya menjadi Perdana Menteri semula, Tommy telah datang bersama Zainur Zakaria dan Ambiga, kedua-duanya juga pernah pada satu masa menentang saya dan Zainur telah cadangkan nama Tommy sebagai Peguam Negara.
2. Pada masa itu saya kecewa dengan sebilangan Peguam Negara Melayu yang bersedia untuk taat kepada Perdana Menteri (Najib) walaupun disuruh melakukan sesuatu yang salah. Saya fikir ia satu perkara yang baik untuk lantik Peguam Negara bukan Melayu.
3. Apabila saya jadi Perdana Menteri ke-7, saya putuskan untuk lantik Tommy Thomas. Saya sedar orang Melayu tidak akan suka. Tetapi Peguam Negara Melayu tidak bersungguh dalam profesion mereka. Saya sedia terima kritikan orang Melayu. Tetapi saya tidak dapat halang kecaman orang Melayu atas pelantikan Tommy Thomas sebagai Peguam Negara.
4. Secara umum saya berpuas hati dengan kerja Tommy. Dia jelaskan kepada saya bahawa tidak ada kes untuk dakwa yang dikatakan penyokong LTTE ini. Saya terima penjelasan itu dan menulis kepada Muhyiddin, Menteri Dalam Negeri. Tommy buang kes tersebut. Kemarahan orang Melayu kepada saya memuncak.
5. Tommy tidak tahu apa-apa langsung berkenaan peletakan jawatan saya. Menurut Tommy, saya beritahu kepadanya bahawa Agong mahukan Wan Azizah sebagai Perdana Menteri Interim (sementara). Ini cerita karut. Selepas menerima dengan berat hati peletakan jawatan saya, Agong cadangkan saya sebagai Perdana Menteri Interim. Nama Wan Azizah tidak pernah disebut oleh Agong sebagai Perdana Menteri Sementara.
6. Sebabnya saya letak jawatan ialah kerana parti saya sendiri, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia menolak nasihat saya untuk tidak keluar dari Pakatan Harapan kerana pada mesyuarat Majlis Presiden Pakatan Harapan kesemua ahli telah bersetuju untuk serah kepada budi bicara saya tarikh sesuai untuk letak jawatan. Jelas mereka tidak hendak saya letak jawatan dan beri laluan kepada Anwar. Anwar dan Wan Azizah hadir dalam mesyuarat itu.
7. Dalam mesyuarat Majlis Pimpinan Tertinggi Bersatu, pada hari Ahad rayuan saya untuk diberi masa sebelum buat keputusan keluar dari PH ditolak. Saya tahu apabila Bersatu bersama kumpulan PKR Azmin keluar dari PH, Kerajaan PH akan jatuh kerana hilang majoriti.
8. Walaupun saya merayu untuk diberi masa seminggu untuk buat keputusan, malam itu Bersatu, kumpulan Azmin dari PKR, UMNO dan PAS hadir makan malam di Sheraton Petaling Jaya. Saya enggan hadir, kerana saya tidak dimaklum apa-apa sebelum itu. Jelas sekali Bersatu, dipimpin Muhyiddin bersetuju bentuk pakatan bersama UMNO, PAS termasuk kumpulan Azmin. PH tidak lagi jadi Kerajaan. Mereka tidak boleh tunggu seminggu untuk saya buat keputusan.
9. Saya terfikir tentang penolakan nasihat saya oleh MPT Bersatu dan penyertaan Bersatu di Sheraton. Nyata bahawa saya telah hilang keyakinan dari Bersatu dan oleh sebab itu saya harus letak jawatan sebagai Pengerusi parti. Jika saya letak jawatan sebagai Pengerusi, saya juga tidak lagi mewakili Parti dalam PH. Jadi saya perlu juga letak jawatan sebagai Perdana Menteri.
10. Setelah diberitahu kepada pemimpin PH, saya menjangka akan mengadap Agong di sebelah tengahari. Saya percaya YDPA telah terima surat peletakan jawatan saya semasa pertemuan itu. Pada awalnya YPDA menolak peletakan jawatan saya. Saya kekal dengan pendirian saya dan kemudian YDPA terima keputusan itu. Tetapi YDPA minta saya jadi Perdana Menteri sementara.
11. YDPA tidak cadangkan nama lain, pastinya bukan Wan Azizah, Timbalan Perdana Menteri (TPM). Saya tidak tawar diri tetapi tidak kena jika saya menolak cadangan Agong.
12. Pada masa itu Kerajaan Pakatan Harapan telah jatuh rentetan pengumuman Muhyiddin mengeluarkan Bersatu dari PH di sebelah tengahari. Wan Azizah sebagai TPM tidak boleh ambil alih jawatan kerana PH bukan lagi Kerajaan. Juga tidak ada satu pun ahli PH boleh ambil alih daripada saya.
13. Agong meminta 222 ahli Parlimen namakan Perdana Menteri baru yang punyai sokongan majoriti ahli. YDPA mahu mereka buat pilihan dengan tandatangan Akuan Bersumpah di hadapannya.
14. Ini mengambil masa selama 2 hari dengan YDPA menyaksi ahli Parlimen menamakan calon dan tandatangan akuan tersebut.
15. Saya tidak menamakan diri sebagai calon tetapi saya telah jangka akan menang. Seperti dinyatakan di atas, Majlis Presiden PH telah putus menyerahkan kepada saya bila masa untuk saya letak jawatan. Sebaliknya YB Hamzah Zainuddin yang merancang kejatuhan PH telah memperoleh Akuan Bersumpah dari semua ahli Parlimen UMNO dan PAS untuk sokong saya sebagai Perdana Menteri.
16. Saya fikir kedudukan saya telah diperkuat memandangkan kesemua Ahli Parlimen Kerajaan dan Pembangkang menyokong saya. Tetapi rancangan Hamzah ialah menjadikan saya Ketua kepada pakatan baru yang dianggotai UMNO, PAS dan Bersatu. Saya masih lagi akan jadi Perdana Menteri dan ini akan pengaruhi saya untuk tinggalkan PH.
17. Tetapi ahli Parlimen PH tidak namakan saya sebagai calon mereka semasa tandatangan akuan bersumpah di hadapan Agong. Anwar yakinkan mereka yang dia mendapat sokongan ahli Parlimen Sabah dan Sarawak dan bersama ahli parlimen PH, memperoleh majoriti untuk jadi Perdana Menteri. Dengan itu mereka namakan Anwar sebagai calon PH.
18. Hakikatnya dia hanya disokong DAP, Amanah dan kumpulannya dalam PKR. Mereka berjumlah 92. Saya cuma mendapat 62 sokongan. Jadi kami berdua kalah.
19. Semasa Muhyiddin dinamakan sebagai Perdana Menteri, dia tidak dapat sokongan majoriti. Tetapi setelah dilantik dia tawar jawatan kabinet kepada ahli yang telah sokong saya. Mereka beralih sokongan dan Muhyiddin mendapat lebihan dua majoriti.
20. Semasa Tommy Thomas jadi Peguam Negara, hubungan kami baik. Dia akan berjumpa saya untuk isu-isu utama. Saya juga percaya dan pertahan dia ketika dikecam orang Melayu. Tempoh khidmatnya hampir tamat. Saya cadangkan anugerah Tan Sri untuk dia.
21. PAS tidak pernah secara langsung minta untuk dia digugurkan. Tetapi saya telah terima banyak kecaman kerana dia, dan saya fikir dia tidak perlu lagi disambung perkhidmatan setelah tamat.
22. Tetapi apabila saya letak jawatan sebagai PM dia datang berjumpa saya untuk beritahu yang memandangkan saya yang lantik dia dan saya bukan lagi PM maka dia juga rasa perlu letak jawatan.
23. Tulisannya berkenaan peletakan jawatan saya cukup hebat. Saya selalu dilabel diktator oleh pembangkang ketika jadi Perdana Menteri. Tak mungkin pembangkang akan puja saya. Itu bukan sifat pembangkang. Tetapi saya letak jawatan pada 2003 kerana rasa terlalu lama jadi PM. Diktator biasanya tidak akan letak jawatan. Tapi sudah pasti yang menentang saya tidak akan berhenti mendakwa saya diktator.
24. Saya tidak ingin bosankan dengan berjawatan terlalu lama. Pada 2020 saya letak jawatan sebagai Pengerusi Bersatu bukan atas kehendak saya, tetapi parti telah hilang kepercayaan kepada saya. Saya juga yakin PH sudah hilang majoriti dan tidak boleh lagi jadi Kerajaan. Saya juga letak jawatan Perdana Menteri. Sebenarnya tak perlu pun letak jawatan kerana kejatuhan Kerajaan PH bermakna saya bukan lagi PM.
25. Berkenaan Kabinet pula, apabila PH hilang majoriti, Kabinet juga tidak dapat kekal. Perkara 43 (4) Perlembagaan menyebut “Jika Perdana Menteri tidak lagi mendapat kepercayaan majoriti ahli Dewan Rakyat, maka Perdana Menteri hendaklah meletakkan jawatan Jemaah Menteri melainkan jika atas permintaannya Parlimen dibubarkan oleh Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
26. Ini berbeza dengan 1969, apabila Perikatan punyai majoriti. Ia tidak ditumbangkan seperti PH. Tunku dijangka akan jadi PM. Tetapi darurat diisytihar, MAGERAN ditubuh dan dipimpin oleh Tun Razak. Kemudian Tunku letak jawatan dan Tun Razak dilantik sebagai PM. Dia masih punyai majoriti kerana Perikatan telah menang dalam pilihanraya.
27. Begitu juga Barisan Nasional (BN) masih punyai majoriti apabila Hussein putuskan untuk tidak mahu bertanding dan saya jadi Presiden UMNO dan Perdana Menteri.
28. Semasa saya letak jawatan pada 2020 PH telah hilang majoriti dan Agong tidak boleh terus lantik Wan Azizah, TPM sebagai Perdana Menteri. Agong juga tidak meminta Wan Azizah menjadi Perdana Menteri Interim.
29. Sebenarnya tidak ada peruntukan untuk Perdana Menteri Interim. Saya terima jawatan itu kerana proses pemilihan oleh 222 Ahli Parlimen mengambil masa yang lama. Negara perlukan Ketua Kerajaan sementara. Setelah ahli parlimen pilih Perdana Menteri baru, pelantikan saya terhenti. Tetapi ahli parlimen tidak berikan majoriti jelas, Anwar peroleh 92 manakala saya 62 undi.
30. Ya. Peletakan jawatan ini pendirian peribadi. Saya tidak hantar surat peletakan kabinet. Tetapi apabila Kerajaan PH tumbang, tidak ada alasan untuk Kabinet kekal. Ia terbubar bersama Kerajaan.
31. Saya hairan bagaimana seorang peguam tidak faham yang ini bukanlah pertukaran Perdana Menteri. Kerajaan PH telah tumbang. Agong tidak boleh lantik Wan Azizah, TPM sebagai Pemangku PM. Sama seperti saya, dia juga tidak punyai majoriti apabila PH ditumbangkan oleh Bersatu yang keluar bersama kumpulan Azmin dari PKR atau Parti Keadilan. Samalah juga dengan Kabinet.
32. Sebagai Perdana Menteri Interim tugas saya ialah untuk menubuh Kerajaan. Ahli politik sibuk bercakap tentang kepentingan parti mereka, bukan tentang negara.
33. Saya berpendapat kita perlu lupakan tentang parti dan fikir tentang negara. Oleh itu saya beritahu kepada semua Ketua Parti kita perlu ada Kerajaan Perpaduan dan lupakan agenda peribadi. Kita juga perlu bawa bukan ahli politik ke dalam Kerajaan.
34. Saya masih ingat dengan jelas Tun Razak, Pengerusi MAGERAN, cuba untuk bawa kesemua parti pembangkang ke dalam Kerajaan. Dia berjaya bawa bersama Gerakan, PAS dan SUPP. Tetapi DAP tolak. Masih dia rasa berhak untuk namakan perikatan baru yang dikenali sebagai Barisan Nasional.
35. Saya fikir kita perlu perkara yang sama. Tetapi saya gagal kerana Kit Siang dakwa saya mahu jadi Diktator. Dia sokong Anwar sebagai calon PH. Jika 92 undi itu bersama saya, saya akan peroleh 154 undi. Bayangkan bagaimana halatuju Negara jika kesemua parti meletakkan Negara ini sebagai matlamat utama.
Dr Mahathir Bin Mohamad
3 Feb 2021