Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, 21st July 2009:
What is the use of MCA, Gerakan and MIC Ministers remaining in Cabinet if three of the four major Barisan Nasional component parties in Peninsular Malaysia could be overruled on a Royal Commission of Inquiry into Teoh Beng Hock’s mysterious death at MACC?
MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat has finally said that the four MCA Ministers support the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the mysterious death of Teoh Beng Hock, 30, the political secretary to Selangor DAP State Exco and State Assemblyman for Seri Kembangan, Ean Yong Han Hwa who went to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Shah Alam to co-operate in its investigations but end up as a corpse at the MACC Hqrs last Thursday 16th July 2009.
Gerakan President Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon has also finally declared yesterday that Gerakan supports the establishment of a RCI into Teoh’s death.
MIC President, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said yesterday that MIC Minister for Human Resources Dr. S. Subramaniam will support in Cabinet the proposal to set up a RCI.
So far, the only Minister and Barisan Nasional component party to openly declare opposition to the establishment of a RCI into Teoh’s death is Datuk Peter Chin, Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water from SUPP.
There are also UMNO Ministers who are supportive of a RCI into Teoh’s death, like the Minister for Information, Communication and Culture, Datuk Seri Dr. Rais Yatim who said yesterday that the setting up a RCI to investigate Teoh’s death can remove whatever doubt the people may have because the outcome of investigation by the Commission will carry more weight compared to other investigations.
He said the request to form the RCI should be supported by everyone and that as a member of the Cabinet, he would not oppose the suggestion.
With the three major parties of the Barisan Nasional in Peninsular Malaysia – MCA, Gerakan and MIC - declaring public support for a RCI, together with Ministers from Umno (with only the solitary objection from the SUPP Minister), the question that must be asked is:
What is the use of MCA, Gerakan and MIC Ministers remaining in Cabinet if three of the four major Barisan Nasional component parties could be overruled on the establishment of Royal Commission of Inquiry into Teoh Beng Hock’s mysterious death at MACC?
The reason why a RCI is imperative and that no second option is acceptable is because Malaysians have lost confidence in the independence and professionalism of the police in impartially dealing with high-profile political cases.
The 1998 scandal of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s “black eyes” while in police custody is the most classic case where only a RCI could force out the truth that it was perpetrated by the then Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Rahim Noor in the presence of top police officers and debunk police and government allegations that Anwar’s “black eyes” were “self-inflicted wounds”.
Another case which illustrates the collapse of public confidence not only in the police but important national institutions to act efficiently and professionally is the allegation of underworld links to the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat state government.
Even the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Gani Patail reacted with lightning speed to the allegation of the underworld links of a Pakatan Rakyat state executive councillor, particularly on the use of his office in the state secretariat building as a meeting room for criminals, declaring within 24 hours of the allegation that “he wants the police to look into the matter immediately”. (“A-G calls for immediate probe into allegations” NST 12 July 2009).
Gani said on Saturday, 11th July 2009: “I want this matter investigated. If a police report isn’t lodged soon, I will call up the police on Monday morning and ask them to investigate.”
The police duly swung into immediate action on Monday in its investigations against the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat state government.
In contrast, compare the utter indifference of Attorney-General, the police and the MACC to the recent public allegations of the MCA President and Transport Minister, Ong Tee Keat of “evil and corrupt elements” with increasing influence in government and Cabinet to the extent that corruption and decadent rule have emerged from the “darkness” into the open to victimise and frustrate justice and integrity as well as attempts to block his publication of the limited PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report on the Port Klang Free Zone scandal.
If these allegations had been made against the Pakatan Rakyat, PR leaders would have been subjected to the fullest investigations but there has been no action whatsoever by the Attorney-General, the Police and the MACC on Ong’s very serious allegations about “dark forces in high places”!
For these reasons, there can be no option or alternative to the establishment of a RCI to get into the bottom of Teoh’s death.
I still expect the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak on announce the establishment of such a RCI on his return from overseas and not to wait for the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
Najib should consult with Pakatan Rakyat leaders, the first to call for RCI into Teoh’s death, in deciding on the composition and terms of reference of the RCI so that it would command continued public confidence that there would be no cover-up into the real culprits and actual causes of Teoh’s death.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor