Teoh Beng Hock’s first death in MACC custody defining test

By Lim Kit Siang

The first death in Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) custody, Teoh Beng Hock, political secretary to DAP Selangor State Exco and Seri Kembangan Assemblyman, Ean Yong Hian Wah, is the defining test for the MACC as to its independence and professionalism as well as for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s commitment to accountability, transparency and the rule of law.

The heartless, cruel and insensitive statement by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz on Teoh’s death has aggravated the outrage of ordinary Malaysians regardless of race and religion demanding full accountability and transparency as to how an idealistic political activist who is to register his civil marriage the next day could take his own life after oppressive overnight questioning allegedly from 6 pm to 4 am by the MACC as a witness and not as an accused!

Nazri said he was informed by the MACC that Teoh was released earlier yesterday morning, and he should have gone home instead and asked: “How would we know that he would jump out of the building”?

He said Pakatan Rakyat should not blame MACC for Teoh’s death.

My three responses are:

  • Firstly, how did Nazri know that Teoh “jumped out” of the 14th floor of the building?
  • Secondly, it is not just Pakatan Rakyat but the overwhelming majority of Malaysians who blame MACC for Teoh’s death for the simple reason that Teoh was in the custody and premises of MACC when he plunged to his death from the 14th storey MACC office, and after being subjected to an unusual and oppressive overnight interrogation by MACC from 6 pm to 4 am when he was not a suspect but only a witness;
  • Thirdly, if MACC is not to be blamed for Teoh’s death, is the blame to be directed to Nazri as the Minister responsible for MACC or to Prime Minister Najib himself?

As I told the Selangor MACC Director Ja’afar bin Mahad this morning, unless MACC can come out with a convincing and satisfactory explanation for Teoh’s death, MACC’s present story disclaiming responsibility does not sell and public perception throughout the country is that this is the first case of MACC custody death, which will do irreparable damage to what is already a very poor image of MACC after six months of operation.

Read more at: http://blog.limkitsiang.com/2009/07/17/teoh-beng-hock%E2%80%99s-first-death-in-macc-custody-defining-test-for-macc-and-najib%E2%80%99s-commitment-to-accountability-transparency-and-rule-of-law/