Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, 7th January 2011:
Malaysians want a RCI into the cause of Teoh Beng Hock mysterious death and not just a RCI into MACC’s investigation procedures
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and all the Barisan Nasional Ministers have not got the message – what the bereaved family and justice-loving Malaysians want is not just a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the investigation procedures and methods of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) but a Royal Commission of Inquiry to uncover the cause of the mysterious death of Teoh Beng Hock.
Both the volume and intensity of the call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into cause of Teoh Beng Hock’s mysterious death has increased many fold since the most unsatisfactory “Open Verdict” of the Teoh Beng Hock inquest on Wednesday.
Many Malaysians had in fact expected the worst as to whether Najib would honour his pledge to the Teoh Beng Hock family 18 months ago in July 2009 that “no stone will be left unturned” in finding out the real cause of Teoh’s death.
If Najib is sincere and serious that “no stone will be left unturned” to uncover why Teoh, who had gone to the MACC headquarters in Shah Alam as a healthy and idealistic political worker, happily looking forward to his impending marriage and unborn child, had ended up as corpse, flung out of the 14th floor of the MACC Headquarters on July 16, 2009, then the next natural and logical step to the “Open Verdict” returned by the TBH inquest would be for the Prime Minister to commission a Royal Commission of Inquiry to probe further into the cause of Teoh Beng Hock’s death following the inquest findings ruling out suicide and the very important testimony on Teoh’s pre-fall injury.
How could Teoh Beng Hock sustain any pre-fall injury at the MACC Hqrs when MACC officers had strenuously denied that they had used any form of physical violence against Teoh or anyone investigated or co-operating with MACC in its investigations?
When speculation circulated after the TBH inquest’s “Open Verdict” on Wednesday that the Prime Minister was mulling the establishment of a RCI following the revelation by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, I was most concerned that the RCI that Najib would be announcing would skip altogether the actual cause of Teoh’s death.
This was why I issued a statement yesterday pointedly reminding Najib that a RCI must not be just into the MACC’s investigation procedures without pursuing the cause of Teoh’s death as he had announced 18 months ago on 17th July 2009, as any RCI which left open the cause of Teoh death like the verdict of the inquest, would be most unsatisfactory and unacceptable.
It is most regrettable that this reminder had been completely ignored by Najib with his announcement today.
Najib also announced that the Attorney-Genneral Tan Sri Gani Patail is joining the Teoh Beng Hock family in seeking a revision of the Open Verdict of the inquest into Teoh’s death.
The Teoh Beng Hock family is seeking a revision of the “Open Verdict” because a case had been made out at the inquest that Teoh’s death was caused by homicide.
What is the Attorney-General seeking in his revision? Does he agree that the inquest should have returned a verdict death caused by homicide? Or is Gani Patail seeking a revision that the Coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas should have returned a verdict of suicide?
If the Attorney-General is seeking to revise the inquest verdict to one of “death by sucide” instead of ann Open verdict, is this the position of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Ministers?
The Coroner had made the important finding on Teoh’s prefall neck injury, which is testimony that Teoh had been subjected to rough treatment and physical violence at the hands of MACC officers at the MACC headquarters, despite MACC denials of torture or violence in any form.
What Gani Patail should have done is to have exercised his powers and duties under the law to take action and direct the police to initiate investigations against those MACC officers who must be held responsible for Teoh’s prefall neck injury and to get to the bottom of the truth about the relationship of Teoh’s prefall injury to his death.
Gani Patail can act under Section 339(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code which provides that the Public Prosecutor may direct the reopening of “such inquiry and to make further investigation” when it appears to the Public Prosecutor that “further investigation is necessary” at the close of an inquest – a strong case which had been made by the Coroner’s finding on Teoh’s prefall injury.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor