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New Attorney-General (AG) Tommy Thomas’ combined talent, integrity, legal knowledge and experience, as one of Malaysia’s best and brightest barrister, is cause for pride. (File pix)

KUALA LUMPUR: New Attorney-General (AG) Tommy Thomas’ combined talent, integrity, legal knowledge and experience, as one of Malaysia’s best and brightest barrister, is cause for pride.

In a statement by Thomas’ law firm Tommy Thomas Advocates and Solicitors today, the firm’s partners Sitpah Selvaratnam, Alan A. Gomez and Ganesan Nethi said Thomas’ vast experience in corporate asset recovery would also be an asset in efforts to recover monies and assets linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

“This is because Thomas has spent most of his 42 years in practice delving in landmark corporate debt and asset recovery. This include a recent case, of which Thomas had acted for the Securities Commission against Swisscash, the worldwide Ponzi scheme hatched in Malaysia.”

The partners had said that in the case, Thomas was involved in tracing the funds of the Ponzi scheme back to banks in Hong Kong, as well as the British Virgin Islands. He had also obtained the worldwide Mareva injunction (a court order freezing a debtor's assets) and the largest reparation of funds for the victims of the scheme.

Thomas had also successfully led the firm’s legal team in two of the best known bond recovery cases in Malaysian courts namely in the Pesaka Astana case and Aldwich Bhd.

“As corporate asset recovery is topical and with the government focused on recovering the assets of 1MDB, there is no doubt in our minds that they have appointed Malaysia’s finest barrister in that field, with the knowledge and experience to lead the 1MDB litigation, whether civil or criminal,” they said.

They added that Thomas brings with him substantial trial and appellate experience, having appeared in all the courts in Malaysia, from appeals to the Privy Council in the mid-1980s.

The statement read that apart from having acted in Malaysia’s largest and most complex cases and his long track record in commercial cases, Thomas has had a strong public law practice, having acted on major judicial review and constitutional matters.

They noted that a significant percentage of Thomas’ practice has been pro bono work, which is handling cases for the less privileged and oppressed without seeking payment.

“Above everything that Thomas has done in his career at the Bar, he relentlessly stood by what was just and fair, true and right.

“So, at a time when our country has resoundingly voted for integrity and accountability, placing Thomas at the helm of the major institution of justice and law, is a true mark of commitment to reform.

“While we shall obviously miss him, we are delighted for our country. We wish him every success as the new AG of Malaysia.”

Earlier this morning, Bernama reported that Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V has given his consent to the appointment of Thomas as the new AG.

Thomas will be taking over from Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali, who is on one-month leave.

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