Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, 22nd July 2011:
Is MACC now “Malaysian Ante Chamber of Crime”?
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) was the second attempt by Malaysia to establish Malaysia's version of Hong Kong's Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) with increased powers, staffing and budgetting.
However, in just two years, MACC had achieved what its predecessor the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) had never done in 41 years from 1967-2008 - two deaths at its premises in circumstances suspected by the majority of reasonable Malaysians as caused by MACC - Teoh Beng Hock in July 2009 and Ahmad Sarbaini Mohamad in April 2011.
There was sheer disbelief when news first broke out yesterday that the James Foong Royal Commission of Inquiry had reported that Teoh Beng Hock was driven to commit suicide by aggressive and continuous questioning by MACC officers – raising the question whether there is such an animal as “forced suicide” which is not homicide or murder.
Other news items yesterday which followed on the contents of the RCI report reveals one consistent picture – of how it is impossible for MACC to disclaim responsibility for causing the death of Teoh Beng Hoch who was totally at the mercy of MACC officers while in MACC custody on the fateful days of July 15 and 16, 2009.
There can be no doubt as to the answer even before the establishment of the RCI when the question is asked: Was MACC responsible for the death of Teoh Beng Hock. The answer is in the categorical positive.
The RCI report did not give a direct answer to the question but anyone reading the contents can only derive one conclusion – that the RCI would say “Yes” if asked to answer this specific question.
The RCI report is an indictment of the MACC. The picture it gives of MACC is not a law enforcement agency but a lawless organisation housed by criminals who have no qualms to break the law to achieve their misguided objectives and agendas which have nothing to do with the battle against corruption.
The question Malaysians are entitled to ask is whether MACC has become Malaysian Ante Chamber of Crime housed by criminals not to uphold the law but to violate all notions and concepts of law, justice and decency?
MACC announced that it accepts with an open heart the findings of the RCI on the death of Teoh Beng Hock and pledged that appropriate action would be taken on RCI findings and recommendations.
If MACC has accepted the RCI findings and recommendations, have all the MACC officers concerned who had acted with impunity in utter disregard the law resulting in the death of Teoh Beng Hock, and then conspired to cover up the truth and commit the crime of perjury at the Royal Commission of Inquiry public hearings with false evidence, been immediately suspended to be charged in court for various crimes, including the murder of Teoh Beng Hock?
Secondly, is the MACC or the Government prepared to publicly accept responsibility for causing the death of Teoh Beng Hock and make a generous ex-gratia compensation payment to TBH's family, among other things, to minimise the family's sufferings and to facilitate a closure of the tragedy?
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor