Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, 16th February 2011:
Malaysians sympathise and support the decision of Teoh Beng Hock family to pull out of Royal Commission of Inquiry as it has no confidence in its independence and professionalism
Malaysians sympathise and support the decision of Teoh Beng Hock’s family to pull out of the Royal Commssion of Inquiry as it has no confidence in its independence and professionalism to get to the bottom of Teoh’s mysterious death at Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters at Shah Alam on July 16, 2009 after falling from MACC’s 14th floor.
The family’s confidence in the independence and professionalism was greatly crushed when the RCI today refused to accede to its requests, made through lawyers Karpal Singh and Gobind Singh Deo, firstly, that Commission Chairman Tan Sri James Foong should recuse himself as he is a sitting Federal Court judge and secondly, to be given time to seek judicial review over the appointment of deputy public prosecutors from the Attorney-General’s Chambers as conducting officers of the RCI.
How can anyone have confidence in the independence and professionalism of the Teoh Beng Hock RCI when on the one hand, officers from the AG’s Chambers are responsible for the conduct of the RCI while on the other hand, the Attorney-General is actively seeking a revision of the “Open Verdict” of the Teoh Beng Hock inquest?
As nobody believes that the Attorney-General wants to overturn the “Open Verdict” of the inquest because the coroner, Azmil Muntapha Abas, should have returned a finding of “death by homicide”, the only conclusion left is that the AG wants to repudiate the Coroner’s finding and return a verdict of “Death by Suicide”, i.e. that the MACC is completely exonerated for Teoh’s death.
How can the Teoh Beng Hock family or ordinary Malaysians have confidence in the independence and professionalism of the RCI when the officers responsible for the conduct of the RCI are officers from the AG’s Chambers – when at the very same time the Attorney-General is actively seeking to challenge the inquest finding ruling out “suicide” as the cause of Teoh’s death?
The least that the Attorney-General should have done to ensure public confidence in the Teoh Beng Hock RCI is to withdraw his application for revision of the inquest finding into Teoh Beng Hock’s death into one of suicide and to allow the appointment of independent counsel not beholden to the Attorney-General for the independent conduct of the proceedings of the RCI!
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor