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Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, 3rd June 2011: 

From unsatisfactory inquest outcome in Teoh Beng Hock case, there should be a Royal Commission of Inquiry into Sarbaini’s death at MACC straightaway

The authorities concerned should learn from the unsatisfactory outcome in the Teoh Beng Hock inquest and have a Royal Commission of Inquiry straightaway into senior Customs officer Ahmad Sarbaini Mohamad’s death – second fatal fall-from-height incident at MACC premises in the short history of MACC.

The conduct of the MACC, the police, the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the Cabinet have been most unsatisfactory to date – taking two long months for the police and the Attorney-General’s Chambers to recommend that an inquest be held.

Clearly, the inquest proposal is strongly opposed by the MACC, which had right from the beginning disclaimed any responsibility for Sarbaini’s death – just as it had disclaimed responsibility for Teoh Beng Hock’s mysterious death falling from 14th floor of MACC hqrs at Shah Alam on July 16, 2009 – even suggesting that Sarbaini had committed suicide, just like in Teoh Beng Hock’s case: that Beng Hock committed suicide, or “honour suicide” and even making the outrageous suggestion that DAP had murdered Beng Hock at the MACC hqrs!

MACC investigations director Datuk Mustafar Ali had said Ahmad Sarbaini returned to the MACC building at 8.26am on April 6 without an appointment and had requested to meet the investigation officer without stating why.

The 56-year-old was found dead on the rooftop of the MACC building’s badminton court on the first floor on April 6 at about 10.20am, barely two hours after walking into the MACC office on Jalan Cochrane here.

Sarbaini’s family and friends have claimed it was impossible that he had committed suicide over the MACC investigations.

Ahmad Sarbaini’s family have expressed dissatisfaction with police investigations and claim his death is being covered up. They have also threatened to sue the MACC if police investigations into his death do not favour the family.

The very fact that the police and the Attorney-General’s Chambers are proposing an inquest into Sarbaini’s death is another public slap-in-the-face for MACC and the latest development causing unchecked plunge in loss of public confidence in the efficiency, independence, integrity and professionalism of MACC in its two-and-a-half-year history.

As illustrated by the proceedings of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Teoh Beng Hock’s death, an RCI into Sarbaini’s is clearly not the best or most satisfactory solution – but definitely a better option than an inquest.

The Cabinet next Wednesday should take the bold decision to establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry into Sarbaini’s death, all aspects of MACC investigation methods and procedures, instead of dilly-dallying with an even more unsatisfactory inquest solution.

*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor



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