Speech by Lim Kit Siang at the Teoh Beng Hock memorial meeting at Hokkien Association Hall, Klang on Friday, 28th August 2009:
Call on Police and MACC to make public the number of reports which had been lodged against MACC (previously ACA) officers for abuse of power and use of physical force for past 12 months
At the Teoh Beng Hock Inquest at the Shah Alam Court this morning, the counsel for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Datuk Abdul Razak Musa asked the Coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas to issue a gag order to stop me from making unfair criticisms of the MACC arising from inquest proceedings.
He pointed out that I was present at the inquest and that I had criticized the MACC over what transpired at the inquest.
This was objected by the Gobind Singh Deo, counsel for Teoh’s family members and Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, counsel for the Selangor State Government who argued that the inquest does not have such unbridled powers.
The Coroner declined to issue such a gag order.
At the inquest today, Gobind said he had at least a police report about physical violence and torture by MACC officers during interrogation and that he would be adducing such evidence.
For quite some time, there had been complaints that the MACC had become a law unto itself, violating the basic constitutional and human rights of witnesses and suspects interrogated by MACC officers.
Even the police are afraid of the MACC because of the powers the MACC officers hold over the police in corruption investigations.
This is unacceptable and intolerable. I call on the MACC Chief Commissioner Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan and the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan to make public the number of reports which had been lodged against MACC (previously ACA) officers for abuse of power and use of physical force in interrogations in the past 12 months.
Furthermore, what percentage of these reports against MACC officers for physical violence and torture during interrogation had been investigated.
The first step to restore public confidence in the MACC is to bring the MACC and all its officers within the ambit of the law as no democratic country can allow an institution to become a monster or a Frankenstein with no regard whatsoever to the rudiments of the rule of law and the most fundamental notion of human rights.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor