Why would Tommy Thomas come back to Malaysia in the first place if he really felt he was a victim of oppression here? And if that oppression were real, how did he become so successful? (Photo by Minaq-Jinggo)
KUALA LUMPUR: It has been two weeks since an article by Malaysian lawyer Tommy Thomas pushing for a Pakatan Rakyat victory in the 13th General Election was published by a pro-opposition news portal, but the article and the man behind it are still taking hits from online critics who accuse the writer of being hypocritical.
Blogger Stop the Lies took aim yesterday at Tommy Thomas’s purported wealth and numerous Malaysian clients and said: “Not bad for a fella who claimed he suffered much oppression in Malaysia.”
“Not bad for someone who packed his bags off to Canada, gave up on Malaysia but returned home and became so successful again!”
“Many of us would love to be in your shoes with these clients, Porsches, houses and luxury homes,” the blogger said, adding he urged the government to take another look at its dealings with the lawyer.
Stop the Lies was reacting to a post by blogger Syed Akbar Ali, who on January 26 had posted a list of the lawyer’s clients in his blog OutSyed the Box. Of the list, Syed wrote:
“Folks, this is the type of client list where Tommy Thomas suffered so much oppression in Malaysia which enabled him to buy his Porsches and racehorses.”
Syed asked why Tommy Thomas would come back to Malaysia in the first place if he really felt he was a victim of oppression here:
“I have a question to ask - why didn’t Tommy Thomas migrate back to Mother India? I mean you had already left Malaysia as a land that was oppressive and does not provide you opportunity. You ran away to Canada. You then found out that squeaky clean, non-corrupt, freedom of speech, freedom of everything Canada is also not your land of opportunity.
“Malaysia has obviously offered more opportunity for Tommy Thomas and every one of us because of the people that run the place here. The people that run the place here are the Malays. (After 1957 the Chinese and the Indians also contributed as well through the Barisan Nasional coalition Government). These are the people who give you the real opportunities, Tommy.”
Datuk Ahirudin Attan wrote in his blog Rocky's Bru: "Sometimes, the one who condemns the system hardest benefits most from it. And vice versa. Oh, don't try to understand why, it is incomprehensible."
Stop the Lies had also previously suggested the lawyer was being hypocritical, saying: “Alas, he found that Canada was not the land of milk and honey that he thought it was. Life was tough there. Not long afterwards, Tommy Thomas packed his suitcase again, and returned to Malaysia where he resumed his legal practice.
“So, Malaysia was good for him before he left for Canada and Malaysia was still good for him and that’s why he returned. But now he wants to change what was good, for what is at best, uncertain.”
Taking direct aim at what he called the lawyer’s “flawed arguments” with regards to the latter’s call for political change, Stop the Lies said “Thomas makes the assumption that a change in government is imperative for democracy to flourish. There is absolutely no basis for such a view.”
Matthias Chang, who is senior lawyer, said Tommy Thomas’s article “contains the usual criticisms devoid of in-depth analysis, hackneyed clichés and a sprinkle of propaganda”.
Chang likened Tommy Thomas to the character Brutus in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and suggested his words were hints of a conspiracy.
“There, you have it! The conversation of the principal conspirators in their last desperate act of defiance following the murder of the great Caesar and these murderers tried to justify their dastardly deed on account that they were acting for the good of Rome. And now, Tommy Thomas is making a similar call to Malaysians to do battle for the good of Malaysia!
“And as history has shown, these evil conspirators acted out of greed and lust for personal power and used vile propaganda to justify the bloody assassination of the great Caesar. Tommy Thomas’s propaganda is no different."