Tommy Thomas - My Story: Justice in the Wilderness Softcover | 2021


Tommy Thomas My Story: Justice in the Wilderness Softcover

by Tommy Thomas

Author Tommy Thomas
Publication Date 2021
ISBN 9789672464181
Format Softcover
Publisher SIRD


About My Story: Justice in the Wilderness by Tommy Thomas Softcover 

Tommy Thomas, Malaysia's first private practitioner named Attorney General in more than 70 years, discusses his experience in the highest legal position in this extremely personal book. The former Attorney General outlines major choices he took, like as prosecuting former Prime Minister Najib Razak, Jho Low, Arul Kanda, and Goldman Sachs for their participation in the 1mdb scandal.

Tommy Thomas's book is the first intimate account by a senior Pakatan Harapan government official of the triumphs, frustrations, and failings of Malaysia's first non-Barisan administration in the country's 60-year history. This frank book captures his real voice and is essential reading for anybody interested in Malaysian politics and the law.

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About Tommy Thomas

Tommy Thomas studied law at Manchester University and international relations at the London School of Economics. He works as a Barrister (Middle Temple). In 1976, he was admitted to the Malaysian Bar.

Thomas has had the distinction of appearing as counsel in historic cases in several disciplines of the law in all Malaysian courts, including the Privy Council in London, which was Malaysia's highest court until 1985. Thomas has approximately 200 known instances and hundreds more that have gone undetected.


Thomas served as lead Counsel in the Pesaka and Aldwich bond disputes, the two largest of their kind in Malaysia, for Danaharta, a public company established by the Government of Malaysia as the national asset management company to rescue the Malaysian financial sector from the 1997 Asian financial crisis, for the Companies Commission and the Securities Commission of Malaysia, the state governments of Penang, Selangor, Terengganu, and Kelantan, and for the Companies Commission and the Securities Commission of Malaysia.

He served on the Bar Council for more than a decade. From 1984 to 1987, he was the editor of its newspaper, Insaf, and from 1995 to 1997, he was the secretary.

Thomas was appointed Malaysia's Attorney General in June 2018. He was the only private practitioner nominated to the post directly from the Bar since World War II, with no prior public service experience. He resigned after 20 months in service after the Pakatan Harapan coalition government lost power.

During his tenure, Thomas accused Najib Razak with various offences in different instances relating to his role in the 1MDB crises. In the first criminal trial, he was the prosecutor. Najib Razak was found guilty on all seven counts of corruption, criminal breach of trust, and money laundering in August 2020. Thomas also accused Goldman Sachs, Jho Low, Timothy Leissner, and Roger Ng of colluding in the 1MDB problems. These individuals were all charged with white-collar offences.

Thomas demonstrated his corporate commercial litigation skills whilst in office when he instituted civil proceedings in the High Court at London, seeking the setting aside of a consent arbitration award recorded between the Government of Prime Minister Najib Razak and IPIC of Abu Dhabi. The Malaysian Government secured an important victory before the Court of Appeal in this litigation. Thomas also directed the Government of Malaysia to file civil proceedings to recover a loan of some RM250 million from the family of a former Cabinet Minister in the notorious Cowgate scandal.

The action brought for the Orang Asli against the State Government of Kelantan was perhaps the most significant legal proceedings undertaken by Thomas on behalf of the Government of Malaysia. This is a public law action, comparable to a derivative action in corporate law, to aid the Orang Asli in pursuing litigation that they would not have been able to initiate and sustain otherwise. The lawsuit aims to safeguard the prosperity and well-being of Orang Asli, whose rights to ancestral lands have long been abused.

Thomas rejoined the business as a Consultant in September 2020. He has also continued his profession as a superior court litigator.


Thomas considers himself a social scientist with strong interests in economics, politics, and history. He has written extensively and given papers on these topics, as well as a variety of legal topics. He has two essay collections published. His memoir "My Story: Justice in the Wilderness," which was published in January 2021, received critical praise and became a top seller.

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ISBN: 9789672464181

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