KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 27 — The statement made by the Malaysian Bar questioning the impartiality of the Special Task Force (STF) to investigate allegations by former Attorney-General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas in his book ‘My Story: Justice in the Wilderness’ is completely baseless and inaccurate, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.
He said the STF had invited the Malaysian Bar Council to participate in the consultation sessions to ensure that all parties’ views were taken into consideration in preparing the report, but the council had declined the invitation.
“As such, casting a negative perception on the impartiality of the STF members is completely baseless. The Malaysian Bar ought to have come forward and given their views on the various allegations identified by the STF.
“To refuse participation and then question the impartiality of the STF and its members should not be the Bar’s way to confront issues of this kind,” he said in a statement today.
He was responding to Malaysian Bar president Karen Cheah Yee Lynn’s statement on Oct 25 that the Bar was perturbed by the untimely declassification of the STF’s report which coincides with the recent dissolution of Parliament on Oct 7 and the upcoming 15th General Election scheduled for Nov 19.
Cheah also said it was reported that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had urged Barisan Nasional’s election machinery to capitalise on the declassified report, which could potentially be an abuse of power.
Explaining further, Wan Junaidi said all findings obtained were based on the 19 consultations conducted by the STF amongst the various stakeholders and it had also looked into the various documents that were provided by the relevant agencies.
“I must stress that the methodology used, issues analysed, the stakeholders involved in the consultation sessions as well as those who had refused to participate have all been listed in the report. This clearly shows that the STF had conducted the job in a responsible, transparent and impartial manner,” he said.
He added that the STF had also submitted its recommendations for improvements in various areas like the judiciary and the legal system for further consideration by the government.
The STF was established by the Cabinet on Dec 22 last year for fact finding and analysing the information on the allegations stated by Tommy Thomas in his book. The findings were then reported to the Cabinet on Sept 30 this year.