Media Statement by Dr. Chen Man Hin in Seremban on Sunday, 26th July 2009:
PM Najib Razak must fulfill his promise to find the truth behind the death of Teoh Beng Hock in MACC headquarters
Coroner inquest not the solution
The explanation by AG Abdul Gani Patail for a coroner inquest, is an insult to the intelligence of the people. his statement gave the reasons why there has to be a coronerís inquest besides having a commission of inquiry into the death of TBH, a political aide to a selangor exco member.
Every educated person knows that an inquest is imperative in a case of sudden death from unknown causes in ordinary cases but the case of TBH is no ordinary case. The circumstances of his death in a government building with tight security, point to the conclusion that MACC officers are involved in one way or another.
MACC is a government institution. In such a situation an inhouse panel is out of the question. You canít have a government officer or officers to be impartial, when investigating the death of TBH where high and topmost officialdom are implicated.
A coroner inquest panel is an inhouse panel with government officers and they are likely to be sympathetic to their own kind, and impossible to be impartial.
The investigating panel has got to be fully independent and free from government officers. The coroner and his panel therefore cannot qualify to investigate the case of TBH.
Immediately on his return from mecca, PM Najib promised there would be a royal commission to find out the truth relating to the death of TBH.
The royal commission with qualified independent persons will be transparent, accountable and competent to weed out the truth behind the death, and do a better more reliable job than a coronerís inquest.
The AG Ghani Patail can quote the criminal procedure code as much as he wants, but this is irrelevant, because what is lacking with a coronerís inquest, are independence and impartiality.
AS FOR THE ROYAL COMMISSION OF INQUIRY (RCI), AG GHANI PATAIL SAID ďTHAT THE RCI IS RIGHTLY AND LAWFULLY FORMED FOR THE PURPOSE OF INQUIRING INTO THE PROCEDURAL ASPECTS OF THE MALAYSIAN ANTI CORRUPTION COMMISSION IN CARRYING OUT THE INVESTIGATIONS.Ē
Here he is so wrong again. The RCI is not meant to study the standard operating procedures (SOP) of the MACC.
The RCI formed of prominent upright citizens with great experience will enquire into all aspects related to the death of TBH, which has evoked wide interest among the people in Malaysia and in Asean countries.
The mysterious circumstances of his death will be investigated. How is it possible that a healthy young man could enter the MACC headquarters alive, and alert for questioning at 5 pm, could end up dead and cold, when his body was found on the roof the 5th floor of MACC headquarter at 1.30pm the next day?
How did he die? Was the death due to a fall from the window of the 14th floor? Was the body alive at the time of the fall? Was he already dead before the fall?
Why did he die? He held the job of a political secretary. Why was the interrogation so long, sources say for 8 hours. What secrets did he have to warrant such a prolonged questioning?
What was the nature of questioning? Were the tactics similar as those employed by the Kempetai (Japanese secret police) during the Occupation?
Why were only opposition exco officials suspected and accused of corruption? Why were Barisan excos left alone?
TBH was alleged to be involved in misuse of RM2400, and was grilled for 8 hours. He died because of RM2400?
Why did MACC not investigate the former MB of Selangor, although he owns and stays in a RM24 million mansion?
Is MACC involved in a grand conspiracy to destroy the reputation of the leaders of Party Rakyat with false allegations of corruption?
Who were the people behind this grand conspiracy? MACC was meant to be an independent body but is obviously obeying orders from some high source. Who are the masters of MACC?
These questions and many more are the reasons why the people are insisting on a Royal Commision of Enquiry, and not for problems of standard operation procedures (SOP) as alleged by the Attorney General.
The mysterious death of TBH has raised vital issues of the question of integrity, honesty and discipline of our institutions. MACC, the police and other institutions are supposed to be guardians and protectors of the people. If they fail to do so then the future of the country will follow the way banana republics.
Already there are signs of deterioration of the moral culture in the country. TBH died while in custody. There are many instances of detainees who also died while in police custody. Altantuya was blown to bits with C4 explosives.
These are disturbing signs, and unless there is a transformation, the culture of violence will spread and will bring down the nation.
A Royal Commision of Inquiry into the death of TBH and the circumstances related to it, might hopefully reveal truths that would guide the nation along the right path.
* Dr. Chen Man Hin, DAP Life Advisor