Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, 6th January 2011:
Inquest verdict ruling out suicide and on Beng Hock's pre-fall injury an indictment of MACC and police and powerful ground for full-scale RCI into the actual causes of Teoh Beng Hock
The ending of the Teoh Beng Hock inquest in an “Open Verdict” 18 months after the tragedy outside the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters in Shah Alam has not only caused nation-wide consternation but validated the opposition to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s two-prong proposal in July 2009 to have first an inquest and after it, a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the procedural aspects of the MACC in carrying out investigations.
On 22nd July 2009, I had said:
“I am disappointed by the Cabinet decision on the mysterious death of Teoh Beng Hock.
“There will be no Royal Commission of Inquiry into the causes of Teoh’s death although an inquest would be held.
“A Royal Commission of Inquiry will be set up, but only to look into the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's (MACC) investigative procedures and to determine if there were any human right violations when Teoh Beng Hock was being interrogated.
"This falls short of public expectations and is unsatisfactory and unacceptable.
“What the Malaysian public want is a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the mysterious causes of Teoh’s death at 14th floor of MACC Hqrs, the investigating procedures of MACC as well as into the independence, professionalism and integrity of the MACC whether it has become the catspaw of its political masters to declare war on the Pakatan Rakyat instead of declaring war on corruption.”
Three days later, I had called on the Cabinet to halt Teoh Beng Hock inquest to allow it to review and widen the terms of reference of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the causes of Teoh’s death to command public confidence in public institutions and the Prime Minister.
Unfortunately, the call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into all aspects of Teoh’s death was ignored and the authorities decided to proceed with the inquest and to await its outcome before constituting a Royal Commission of Inquiry into investigation aspects of MACC.
Although there is nation-wide disappointment with the “Open Verdict”, the inquest had made two important findings:
This raises the question who was responsible for Teoh Beng Hock’s “prefall” injury, which reflected adversely on the MACC as well as police investigations into Teoh’s death.
For this reason, a Royal Commission of Inquiry, not just into the procedural aspects of the MACC’s investigations but to probe further into the causes of Teoh Beng Hock’s death following the inquest findings ruling out suicide and on Teoh’s pre-fall injury, should be established immediately without any delay.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor