Ku Li slams MACC, says witnesses shouldn’t end up in coffins

By Lee Wei Lian, The Malaysian Insider

Expressing concern that the recent death of Teoh Beng Hock is a sign that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has gone “rogue”, senior Umno leader Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said that nothing should be spared in the effort to find out the reason behind the death of the DAP political aide.

Tengku Razaleigh also hit out at the MACC for investigating minor cases while ignoring major examples of graft.

He said that Malaysians no longer feel safe or secure if mere witnesses called in to give evidence to a graft busting agency could be found dead the next day. "I feel it is very bad for a country like this. We have been independent for 50 years. Must people called up for queries end up in a coffin?" he told The Malaysian Insider.

Teoh was the political aide to DAP state assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah.

Teoh was called in last Wednesday to assist the MACC in its investigations into alleged misuse of funds by his boss. He was found dead the next day, sprawled on the roof of the adjacent building to the MACC headquarters in Shah Alam.

Police are now probing his death and the Cabinet is expected to discuss widespread calls for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the tragedy.

Tengku Razaleigh said calls for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into Teoh's suspicious death would be of no use if the government does not follow through on its suggestions, pointing out that the government had ignored the recommendations of previous royal commissions such as the one that investigated the V.K. Lingam case of alleged judge fixing and on improving the police force.

He even likened the sidelining of previous royal commissions to "insulting the King."

The former finance minister also spoke out against the performance of the MACC, pointing out that it has not been as effective as its counterpart in Hong Kong at wiping out the corruption scourge.

He hit out at the commission for allegedly going after potentially minor offences but ignoring the major ones, saying that the current MACC model needs to be reviewed.

"This is a question of death you know. People want to know. I want to know. How could it happen? To a witness, who is going to give evidence and he is not even a suspect over the spending of RM2,400. Some people with millions of dollars, they get away with it and are not called for investigation."

The following is a transcript of TMI's conversation with Ku Li.

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