Attorney General Dinner Twist – Here’s Top-5 Difference Between Tommy Thomas & Apandi Ali Dance Drama

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Jan 22 2019
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Malaysia is consists of Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia (also known as the Malaysia Borneo). The East and Peninsular are separated by the South China Sea. Perhaps it’s a blessing in disguise that travelling to Indonesia (Sumatra) from Peninsular is easier and faster than flying to Sabah and Sarawak in the Borneo.


While you can ride a boat (hence smuggling) from Peninsular to Sumatra and vice-versa, you can’t do the same from Peninsular to Borneo. It’s this distance between the East and West Malaysia that probably prevent the spread of racism, extremism and discrimination at the industrial scale from Peninsular to Sabah and Sarawak.


Yes, Sabah and Sarawak are the remaining Malaysian territory that has not been infected, at least not now, by this virus called racism, extremism and discrimination created by politicians in the Peninsular since the independence in 1957. That’s why Sabahans and Sarawakians do not like the idea of political parties from Peninsular spread their wings in Borneo.

Malaysia Map

The case of a video of Attorney General Tommy Thomas and Chief Justice Richard Malanjum dancing on stage at a social event is an interesting subject. While almost every leader in Peninsular – including the ruling government and the opposition – criticised the incident, leaders from the Borneo were quite cool about the dance drama.


Despite criticism from his comrades in UMNO, surprisingly, Bung Moktar Radin did not see any issue with both Tommy and Richard having fun on the stage, apparently dancing to a popular 60s rock ‘n roll tune “Let’s Twist Again” by Chubby Checker. Notorious for his racism remarks in the past, Mr. Bung, an MP from Sabah, seems to disagree with the dancing being politicised.


Now, Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) has joined the bandwagon, arguing that the criticism against A.G. Thomas and Chief Justice Malanjum were unreasonable, unwarranted and unsubstantiated. This fiasco shows the lack of understanding of politicians from Peninsular in the Bornean culture. It also shows Peninsular could not differentiate between right and wrong.

Attorney General Tommy Thomas - Chief Justice Richard Malanjum - Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng

UMNO, just lost its power about 8 months ago after ruling for 61 years since the independence, said that the conduct of Thomas and Malanjum breached ethics and raises conflict of interest. After all, former A.G. Apandi Ali, appointed by former PM Najib Razak, was previously condemned by the opposition (now the ruling government) for the same dancing stunt two years ago.


It’s a valid argument to say that while Apandi Ali was not allowed to dance, it’s hypocritical to say it’s perfectly alright for Tommy Thomas to dance his heart out. However, like the bungalow scandal hitting former Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and former Selangor Chief Minister Khir Toyo, there is a difference between the dancing stunt shown by Apandi Ali and Tommy Thomas.


First of all, A.G. Thomas and Chief Justice Malanjum let their hair loose during the “Opening of the Legal Year 2019” gala dinner, an event organised by the Sabah Law Society at the Magellan Sutera Resort in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. One does not need to be a rocket scientist to tell the event was meant to the legal community, not politicians, not to mention it was done behind closed doors.

Opening of the Legal Year 2019 Gala Dinner - Sabah - Tommy Thomas and Richard Malanjum Dancing

Merdeka Parade at Dataran Merdeka - 2016 - Apandi Ali with Ministers

Sure, there was a politician called Liew Vui Keong but he was there in his capacity as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of law. Although activists Ambiga and Siti Kasim were also there, they are also prominent lawyers. In short, the event was attended by mostly lawyers, the same way a Cloud Computing seminar organised by IBM being attended by IT people.


In the case of former Apandi Ali’s dancing in 2016, he was dancing with five ministers – Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, Salleh Said Keruak, Maximus Ongkili, Azalina Othman Said and Nancy Shukri – all of whom were politicians and part of the previous Barisan Nasional government. The event was a Merdeka Day parade at Dataran Merdeka, obviously in open air and had nothing to do with lawyers.


Secondly, when Tommy Thomas and Richard Malanjum went on stage for the twist and dance, the A.G. wore a white shirt and the Chief Justice wore a suit. What the heck does their dress code has anything to do with the fiasco? Their dress code means they attended the dinner sincerely – even professionally – to have fun without any bias or tendency towards certain political parties.

Attorney General - Apandi Ali - Tommy Thomas

Mr. Apandi Ali, on the other hand was caught singing and dancing wearing the same uniform as the ministers under Najib administration. You would typically wear a sponsored uniform either to promote certain branding, agree wholeheartedly with the products, impress with the uniform design, part of the organisation or simply too poor to afford a shirt.


Thirdly, the disgraced former A.G. Apandi Ali happily danced with a bunch of corrupted ministers after he cleared the scandal-plagued Prime Minister Najib Razak of any wrongdoing over the infamous RM681 million (RM2.6 billion) found in his personal bank accounts. Neither Tommy Thomas nor Richard Malanjum did what Apandi Ali had done.


Not only Apandi lied that the stolen money was a donation from the Saudi royal family, which has proven to be false as admitted by Najib himself when the crook made a U-turn during an hour-grilling with Al-Jazeera’s reporter Mary Ann Jolley, the ex-attorney general had also played dumb and refused to cooperate with Switzerland and the U.S. authorities in the 1MDB investigation.


Attorney General Tommy Thomas – Dancing With Lawyers

Fourthly, unlike the Merdeka Day event, which more often than not hijacked by the government of the day to promote certain propaganda or agenda, the Legal Year gala dinner like the one attended by A.G. Thomas and Chief Justice Malanjum was a social gatherings to promote traditional dances and cultures, such as “joget” and “poco-poco”.


Fifthly, Tommy Thomas and Richard Malanjum are not members of any political parties, hence the assurance of their neutrality and professionalism. The same, however, cannot be said about Apandi Ali, who has admitted his membership in UMNO from 1982 to 1991. As predicted, after he was fired by PM Mahathir, Apandi was appointed an UMNO supreme council member last year.


Just because the crooked Najib Razak had recruited Apandi Ali as attorney general to clear his thievery, doesn’t mean Tommy Thomas and Richard Malanjum have no dignity like the former scumbag attorney general. To even suggest the similarity between Apandi and Thomas dancing stunt goes to show how the previous regime had blatantly used the judiciary system to cover up their corruptions.




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Dancing is not a crime. But associating with criminals is. So don’t make a big fuss over a cultural event. Let everybody to dance to their hearts vontent

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