Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, 28th July 2011:
Najib must honour his solemn undertaking to Teoh Beng Hock's family on 28th July 2009
Yesterday, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said he left the decision of penalising the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) trio named in the James Foong Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on Teoh Beng Hock’s (TBH) death to the MACC, the police and the Attorney-General.
This is the supreme “passing-the-buck” by the Prime Minister which is as good as saying that no one would be held responsible for Beng Hock’s death.
In the first place, the TBH RCI did not just name three names but quite a list of MACC officers who not only committed a host of crimes, including perjuries at the Royal Commission of Inquiry and the TBH inquest but must be held responsible for Beng Hock’s death.
However, even for the three MACC officers concerned who have been suspended from investigations duties but not as MACC officers, namely Hishammuddin Hashim (Negri Sembilan MACC director who was at the relevant time Deputy Director Selangor MACC and “mastermind” of the massive operation based “on a mere belief and without supporting facts” from a telephone call resulting in Beng Hock's death); Anuar Ismail the “IO” of the operation and Ashraf Mohd Yunus ( described by RCI as “Ashraf the abuser” - “who was Machiavellian in his method to secure evidence”), nothing serious is expected apart from “slap on the wrist”!
There is “golden silence” from the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Gani Patail on whether criminal charges would be preferred the trio and other MACC officers, although he would have more than a month to study the TBH RCI report which was submitted to the authorities on June 22, 2011.
The Selangor Police Chief Tun Hisan Tun Hamzah had said that the police had decided not to investigate the RCI’s findings as “nothing was said about them breaking the law”.
The MACC director of investigations Mustafar Ali said there will be no further suspension of others besides the three officers, and no time frame has been fixed for the internal probe which will be focussed on administrative and procedural issues while criminal investigations will be left to the police.
With the police saying that there would be no further criminal investigations into Beng Hock’s death arising from the RCI report, this would mean that the three would not have to face any criminal proceedings but would get at worst “a slap on the wrist” on “administration and procedural” grounds.
No wonder Teoh Beng Hock’s family and all right-thinking Malaysians feel cheated as having been taken for a ride by the entire government mishandling of the tragic death of Teoh Beng Hock.
This is just not good enough and tantamounts to Najib reneging on his solemn undertaking to Teoh Beng Hock’s family when he met them on 28th July 2009 that “no stone will be left unturned” to find out the causes and circumstances of Beng Hock’s death.
Why is the Prime Minister “washing his hands” of Teoh Beng Hock’s mysterious death while in the custody, care and control of the MACC and at MACC headquarters in Shah Alam on July 16, 2009 after giving the Teoh Beng Hock family the solemn undertaking that he would leave no stone unturned to find out the causes and circumstances of Beng Hock’s death?
Najib’s turning his back on his solemn undertaking to the TBH family that “no stone would be left unturned” is most shocking, irresponsible and deplorable.
The full frightening story of the causes and circumstances for Beng Hock’s tragic death at MACC Headquarters have still to be told and full justice given to Beng Hock and family.
The RCI came out with a finding overturning the verdict of the TBH Inquest ruling out suicide – concluding that Beng Hock was “driven to commit suicide by the aggressive, relentless, oppressive and unscrupulous interrogation”.
This is most unacceptable as it was a finding not based on any evidence but completely a leap in speculation by the RCI.
The Coroner Muntapha Abas in the TBH inquest had ruled out suicide but had returned an open verdict as there was insufficient evidence to prove that his death was a homicide.
Although no sufficient evidence was adduced at the RCI to establish Beng Hock’s killers, it was clearly established at the RCI that there was a conspiracy of “blue wall of silence” among the MACC officers to “cover up” what actually transpired at the MACC resulting in Beng Hock’s death, with the RCI publicly condemning the MACC Selangor officers except for two “brave” witnesses as a pack of liars who blatantly told lies and perjured at the RCI.
This means that all the previous accounts, including the statements given by the MACC officers in the initial police investigations into Beng Hock’s death, were just a pack of lies, justifying the police re-opening investigation to seek evidence of whether Beng Hock’s death was one of homicide, murder or manslaughter not amounting to murder, at the MACC heaquarters in Shah Alam on July 16, 2009.
Najib should honour his “no stone will be left unturned” undertaking to the Teoh Beng Hock’s family and ensure that the police re-open investigations to bring to book the killers of Beng Hock, as the initial police investigations had been undermined by the conspiracy of “blue wall of silence” of MACC officers to thwart police investigations from establishing the truth and to pervert the course of justice.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor