Tommy Thomas is no writing sensation. And how is it possible that without even reading a page, millions of good Malaysians feel happy and high? A few excerpts and reviews cannot explain this euphoria. Heaven! Perhaps the title of his book is a good starting point.
It's not just Justice that has been in the wilderness. Too many of the good and the decent among us have been banished to the fringes, the margins of national life. And deprived of that greatest gift of real citizenship: to take part in the life of the nation. Without exception.
The book’s very publication is proof we have not been cowed into submission. Not entirely. There is at least one brave soul among us. Bravo! We need heroes like the desert needs rain. A few hundred silly police reports cannot put the genie or the hantu back in the bottle.
Like the Emperor’s ‘new clothes’, all this outrage cannot hide the fact that the corrupt lack even a modicum of modesty. We snigger and we laugh at what we have known all this while: naked is the Gomen that hides behind the smoke and mirror of the law and its lackeys.
True, this AG came in from the cold post GE-14. The Rakyat then was baying for a New Malaysia that would prosecute the obvious wrongdoers. They were hiding in plain sight for too long. Tommy was neither from the same mould or from the fold as the previous ones.
He was not from the old network, biased on twisted motives and interlocked interests. He had a mind of his own. A good legal mind driven by the highest ideals of the Law. Nor did he feel bound by our Gomen’s version of Omerta, that infamous code of silence, Mafia style.
Add to that, the belief among our Pemimpin Yang Tercinta aka Dear Leader that since we adore them, they can do no wrong; that they are above the law. But, though reduced to a nation of khabar anginers, we know well the rot of our Gomen, of our Dear Leaders. Shame!
Judging from the reaction to the book, the hornet's nest has been thoroughly stirred if not shaken; a few bigwigs have been raked over the coals; hotshots cut down to size and Goliath has been knocked down for the count by David with a slingshot to the solar plexus. Ouch!
Tommy Thomas is a rare high official, driven by conscience not compliance. Every country worth its honour needs a hero. Like Thomas More. Convicted of treason in 1535 by Henry VIII and his goons, his famous last words: “I die, the King’s good servant and God’s first”.
The crime of this ex-Lord Chancellor: He opposed the king’s separation from the Catholic Church and the annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. In plain language, he told the King and his kakis that his conscience was not for sale. Not even for billions of ringgit.
Thank you very much! I say it as a citizen of a country that insists our parliamentary democracy is modelled on Westminster, complete with a sound system that allows the Speaker to cut-off an Opposition MP for raising the alarm on corruption and patronage.
But it is Eastminster now and millions know that Eastminster is rotten to the core. Every pillar and post. We speak of these things everyday of our lives. Endlessly. Close to four decades now. In homes, workplaces, gatherings and meetings. On WhatsApp, Signal...name it. Hell!
Injustice! The bane and burden of our lives. It has clouded our minds, turned our emotions raw, soured our tastes and pained our hearts. And yet, it is us, so often cut-off in mid-speech or muted into silence who pay the bills and put food on the table for all. Second class citizen?
I know what I will do in the Hereafter, if there is one. From dawn to dusk, from under every tree and from every stone, I will speak of the injustice heaped upon the heads of those who meant well for the King and country by the corrupt and the connected- Tun, Tan Sri, Dato.
Our self-styled Pemimpin yang Tercinta must be both blind and mad not to see that this nation’s running sores will not be healed by banning the book. Our raw nerves will cheer Tommy all the way. Ban the book but you cannot ban the man. As Bertolt Brecht wrote:
Those who take meat from the table
Those for whom the taxes are destined
Those who eat their fill speak to the hungry
Of wonderful times to come.
Those who lead the country into the abyss
Call ruling too difficult
For ordinary men.