Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Parliament on Monday, 7th December 2009:
“Teoh Beng Hock’s case is nothing. It is a very small case.” – Ahmad Said’s guilty mind speaking
The outgoing Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Chief Commissioner Datuk Seri Ahmad Said gravely damaged his own case that he was not stepping down early because of political pressure.
Denying that the mysterious death of DAP political aide Teoh Beng Hock at the MACC headquarters at Plaza Masalam, Shah Alam on July 16, 2009 had attributed to his early retirement, Ahmad said:
“Teoh Beng Hock’s case is nothing. It is a very small case. We have handled much bigger cases.’’
This is generally received by Malaysians as Ahmad Said’s guilty mind speaking, admitting that the MACC cannot exonerate itself or exculpate responsibility for Teoh’s death whatever the outcome of the ongoing inquest to Teoh’s death.
Ahmad’s statement is heartless and grossly insensitive, rubbing salt into the wounds in the hearts of all decent and justice-loving Malaysia.
How can the head of an independent and professional anti-corruption agency dismiss Teoh’s mysterious and shocking death as “a very small case” and of no consequence?
How many lives must be lost in MACC precincts before they become major issues?
Ahmad’s insensitive and offensive statement about Teoh’s death as a “very small case” is only exceeded by his earlier distasteful statement implying that Teoh had committed suicide, saying that “if people investigated could not withstand the pressure and jumped from the building, there was nothing that MACC could do”.
Ahmad’s statement is also patently untrue, as there can be no denial that Teoh’s mysterious death and MACC’s culpability had been the single biggest factor in bringing Malaysia’s ranking in the Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2009 by a few notches – with Malaysia falling nine places to 56th position from 47th last year and an unprecedented drop of 0.4 CPI score from 5.0 last year to 4.6 this year.
Before he steps down as MACC Chief Commissioner, can Ahmad spell out the reasons why Malaysia’s ranking and score in the TI CPI 2009 had suffered such a grave double plunge, and to let Malaysians know the role played by Teoh’s mysterious death at MACC headquarters for the loss of national and international confidence in the independence, professionalism and integrity of MACC?
In fact, Ahmad has provided Datuk Abu Kassim Mohamed who is to take over as the new MACC chief the opportunity to show whether Malaysians can expect a real difference in the MACC culture, benchmark and modus operandi with a change of MACC leadership – whether Abu Kassim endorses or dissociates himself from Ahmad’s outrageous statement that Teoh’s death is “a very small case” just as whether Abu Kassim will dissociate himself from another of Ahmad’s outrageous attitude that “as far as MACC is concerned, there is no difference between corruption involving a few ringgit and corruption involving a few hundred millions of ringgit”.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor