Media statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, 2nd March 2011:
Ex-judge Shaikh Daud should not have compromised his stature by allowing himself to be dragooned by BN propagandists to run down Teoh Beng Hock’s family and lawyers
Former Court of Appeal judge Datuk Shaikh Daud Ismail should not have compromised his stature by allowing himself to be dragooned by Barisan Nasional propagandists to run down Teoh Beng Hock’s family and lawyers for the family’s decision to withdraw from the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Teoh’s mysterious death at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters in Shah Alam in July 2009.
Another example of such a media blitzkrieg was the comment by the Universiti Teknologi Mara Assoc Prof of Law Datuk Halim Sidek.
I agree with the advice yesterday by the DAP National Chairman Karpal Singh to Halim that he should “in future demonstrate maturity by checking his facts before making public statements” so as “to set a good example to would-be lawyers under his charge”.
It is most unbecoming of a former judge of the Court of Appeal to make the baseless allegation that Teoh’s family had shown “clear disrespect” to the Yang di Pertuan Agong by pulling out of the Royal Commission of Inquiry.
I am reminded of the shallow attacks by Cabinet Ministers against me in Parliament in the seventies when I first sought to move an amendment to the Motion of Thanks for the Royal Address, on the ground that I was being disloyal and disrespectful of the Yang di Pertuan Agong in seeking to make such an amendment.
This was bunkum and baseless for the Royal Address though delivered by the Yang di Pertuan Agong at the annual opening of Parliament was the policy address of the government-of-the-day and it is established parliamentary practice and convention that criticism of the Royal Address is not criticism of the King but of the government-of-the-day.
It is just amazing that after more than half a century of nationhood, many Malaysians who should know better should still be grappling with such a basic understanding and notion of parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy.
If Sheikh Daud is right and consistent, why hasn’t he ever spoken up to criticize the Prime Minister and government-of-the-day for their disrespect and disloyalty of the Yang di Pertuan Agong when, for instance, the Royal Police Commission of Inquiry’s recommendation for the establishment of a Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) to create an efficient, incorruptible, professional world-class police force or the Lingam Videotape Royal Commission of Inquiry’s recommendations for an independent judiciary were not implemented?
For more than 18 months, when the authorities denied the pleas of Teoh Beng Hock’s family for full, independent and no-holds-barred investigations into Teoh’s death, there has been no squeak of concern from either Shaikh Daud or Halim.
Both Shaikh Daud and Halim should have shown greater empathy and support to Teoh Beng Hock’s family for their decision to pull out of the RCI as the family members have no confidence in its independence and professionalism to get to the bottom of Teoh’s mysterious death especially in their objections to the Attorney-General’s role – firstly, in seeking a revision of the Coroner’s “Open Verdict” which rejected “death by suicide” at Teoh Beng Hock’s inquest to one of suicide; and secondly, the AG’s officers conducting the RCI when these officers are committed to secure a finding of suicide instead of homicide as borne out by latest RCI proceedings.
Instead, they have chosen to cast aspersions on Teoh Beng Hock’s family and their lawyers, Karpal Singh and Gobind Singh Deo, doing them all a grave injustice.
Both of them are guilty of even greater injustice when they seem to suggest that the Teoh Beng Hock family has things to hide and do not want to real truth of Teoh Beng Hock’s mysterious death to be out!
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor