Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Friday, 16th July 2010:
Is MACC's year-late condolence over Teoh Beng Hock's death genuine?
Today Malaysians remember and mourn the unexpected and mysterious death of DAP political aide Teoh Beng Hock a year ago at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters in Shah Alam after volunteering to co-operate with MACC investigations.
In an unusual move on Teoh Beng Hock’s first-year death anniversary, the MACC commissioner Datuk Abu Kassim Mohamad issued a short three-paragraph statement, which said:
"I represent myself and all members of MACC. We share the same sadness and disappointment with Teoh's family over what happened on July 16, 2009."
"Although a year has passed since the unfortunate incident, we still feel the pain and sadness. As a father and an elder in the family, I can deeply feel the unbearable pain of losing a family member."
Saying that the MACC will abide by the decision of the inquest, he said MACC will not compromise or shield anyone who is involved in the case.
He also said that steps such as improving the safety of witnesses and increasing procedures relating to witnesses had been taken to ensure history would not repeat itself.
The question all are asking is whether Abu Kassim and MACC are genuine in their year-late condolence because of two reasons:
Firstly, the condolence statement is only issued in Mandarin and only given coverage in the Chinese-language media. Is the MACC's year-late condolence only for the consumption of the Chinese media but not for the consumption of all Malaysians in all language media in Malaysia? If so, where is the genuine remorse and contrition?
Secondly, the year-late condolence is at variance with the stance adopted by the MACC counsel Datuk Abdul Razak Musa at the inquest where he was clearly acting on the MACC's instruction that Teoh Beng Hock had committed suicide and had nothing to do with the MACC instead of coming to the inquest with an open mind and in full support of the most comprhensive inquiry - to the extent that Razak could make a callous and unconscionable statement comparing the inquest to 4-0 like the World Cup in favour of MACC!
Abu Kassim has also not elaborated what new steps and procedures MACC had taken to explain his cyptic remark that "history would not repeat itself" in the case of Teoh Beng Hock's death.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor