Remembering Teoh Beng Hock

As we mourn the untimely death of Teoh Beng Hock, whose life was cruelly snatched away in the prime of his youth, it seems as if the nation is moving under a long dark cloud, like a partial eclipse of the sun which will not go away.

We are united in anger at the sheer pointlessness of his death and the suspicious circumstances under which it happened. We are saddened at his youth, dismayed by his impending marriage missed by a few short hours and moved to tears that he will never see his unborn child.

We are also frustrated over the disdainful shrugging off of responsibility by the MACC. We are frustrated with the lumbering investigation of the police, whom few believe will be impartial.

We are horrified that an agency of the government, meant to uphold integrity, and meant to protect us, could have caused his death. Something has broken in the national sense, the trust between the government and the people. It went out of the window with Beng Hock and shattered next to his body.

But more than any of the above, we feel a deep empathy with Beng Hock because it could have happened to any of us. This was no suspected car thief or drug addict who died in police custody, but an innocent young man called as a witness to a government agency.

It could have been you or me, or our children or loved ones, who could have been in his place and suffered the same fate.

Demand for Answers


The public is enraged and we demand answers; real answers to the many troubling questions, and not the insipid answers given by the MACC. These throw up more questions than they explain. Failure to give the truth means a negative inference will be drawn.

Why did Teoh have to be mercilessly interrogated over 10 hours from 5.30pm to 3.45am over a hearsay misuse of RM2400 for which no complaint had been lodged?  Why did the MACC need the cover of darkness to question him, instead of conducting it within office hours in broad daylight?

MACC said that Teoh was cooperative, but if this was the case, why did they have to grill Teoh for 10 hours straight? For a case involving a mere RM2400 for the purchase of flags, how long do they need to get all the details, if the witness was cooperative? So what really happened to Teoh?

We cannot get any answers from Teoh because he is no longer with us. But another person interrogated at the same time as Teoh for the same case has revealed disturbing details of what he went through. Kajang councillor Tan Boon Wah gave a damning account of his interrogation when he was held overnight for 15 hours by the MACC.

Tan Boon Wah

Tan said racial slurs were hurled at him, he was physically abused by being forced to stand at attention for four hours and was subjected to mental stress, using threats to arrest his wife and children. He claimed that all this was done in an effort to coerce him to confess that he had not supplied flags to Teoh’s boss, DAP exco Ean Yong when he actually had.

If this was what Tan had to go through, then we cannot escape the dreadful possibility that Teoh could have been subjected to similar treatment. Was Teoh’s death a result of physical abuse gone too far? His youthfulness and timid demeanour may have emboldened his interrogators to cross the line, just as bullies are emboldened when one does not stand up to them.