Civil society joint statement on the death of Teo Beng Hock

By Haris Ibrahim

A press conference was held at the KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall this morning. A joint statement, indorsed by several civil society initatives, was released. The full text of the same, and the list of indorsees,  is reproduced below.

We, the undersigned civil society groups hereby register our  shock, grief and anger at the first political death under the 105-day-old Najib Administration.

Our hearts go out to the fiancée and family of Mr Teo Beng Hock, political secretary of Selangor State Executive Councilor Ean Yong Hian Wah who died falling off the Selangor headquarters of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) reportedly on Thursday afternoon, just a day before his planned marriage registration.

We demand:

(1) the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry to independently and thoroughly investigate the incident and include in its terms of reference the key issue of whether the present command and power structure of MACC has played a role in this tragic incident. Half of the members of the Royal Commission should be nominated by the Federal Opposition to ensure credibility.

(2) that MACC national director Ahmad Said, Selangor Director Moh Samsudin and all officers involved in the investigation of Ean Yong and his fellow lawmakers be immediately suspended until the completion of the Royal Commission’s work to ensure no cover up or obstruction to the investigation.

No one should die because of politics

We are extremely shocked and saddened that politics in Malaysia is not only degrading  human freedom and dignity, but has also claimed human life. While many Malaysians have suffered political persecution including detention without trial and torture, no one – to our knowledge – has directly died at the hand of a government institution because of politics since the Kampung Memali incident in 1985.

No blood should be shed because of politics. Even one life lost is too many. Unfortunately, Beng Hock is now the first political death under the Najib Administration and under the MACC, which has joined the police force in causing death in custody.

We, and we are sure, all Malaysians categorically demand call on  PM Najib Razak to see to justice being done on Beng Hock’s death.

It was Najib’s failure that he had done nothing in his first 100 days to investigate the allegation by UMNO Maran Division Committee Member Halimi Kamaruzzaman that he was roughed up and forced to strip by MACC officers in a politically-motivated investigation targeting another UMNO politician Norza Zakaria. If that was done, Beng Hock may still be alive now.

Just a week ago, forty civil society groups listed the reform of MACC as one of Najib’s Key Performance Indicators in his second 100 days. It is essential that Najib institutes political reforms to restore democracy and human rights.

A Royal Commission of Inquiry is the only acceptable body that can resolve and bring to a closure the many unanswered questions on the shocking developments leading to and after the death of Beng Hock:

Read more at: Civil society joint statement on the death of Teo Beng Hock : Royal Commission of Inquiry on 1st Political Death under Najib