The corruption inquest into Norza — as with the investigation into Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong, whom Teoh was an aide to — is widely believed to have been politically motivated.

The Nut Graph


THE Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has come under considerable flak this past week, most severely with the death of Selangor state government aide Teoh Beng Hock. On 16 July 2009, Teoh was discovered dead on the fifth floor of Plaza Masalam, Shah Alam, after a gruelling interrogation lasting more than 10 hours until 3.45am at the Selangor MACC premises.

How did his death occur? This is still unknown, though police are not ruling out foul play. While theories as to the cause of Teoh's death abound, it is perhaps prudent not to jump to conclusions, but remain focused on a solid principle: the MACC's lack of procedural parameters or its non-adherence to standard operating procedures, should they exist.

Why was there not greater security at the MACC's office? Why was the welfare of those under the commission's custody treated in such a cavalier way, to the extent that a death occurred under its watch?

Is the MACC empowered to conduct interrogations — whether with witnesses or suspects — way past 3am, and for such a long duration? Even in police lockups, there is the 6am-to-6pm rule, the stipulated timeframe for suspects to be questioned.

What about the allegations made by Kajang municipal councillor Tan Boon Wah, who had also been interrogated by the anti-graft agency? On 17 July, Tan revealed that investigating MACC officers forced him to stand for four hours, threatened to "take away my wife", and called him "Cina bodoh".