Teoh’s family wants apology for Utusan’s ‘bastard’ article

By Wong Choon Mei, Suara Keadilan


Even as Prime Minister Najib Razak put on his most sympathetic expression at the recent photo-shoot with the family of the late Teoh Beng Hock, his hand-picked editors were busy running a series of hate articles against the Selangor political officer, whose death has been widely blamed on national graft buster MACC.

And this time the Umno-owned Utusan may gone a step too far by labelling his unborn child a bastard.

The Teohs now want an apology for those boorish and uncouth words.

“This country is ruled by law, not religion. Since the PM has promised to help solve the problem, we will wait for his solution,” Beng Hock’s sister Lee Lan was quoted as saying in the Malaysian Insider.

“If my brother did not die, the question of his child’s surname would not have arisen. Who caused his death?”

“My family and the public want to know the cause of death of Beng Hock, how he was killed, who are the culprits, and who are going to be held responsible for his death. MACC can’t deny their responsibility over Beng Hock’s death as he was a witness they should protect and was in their custody.

“We want the Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate the cause of death. This is not a political issue. We want the truth. My brother Beng Hock was killed. He did not commit suicide.”

What did Utusan say this time

In its July 28 edition, Utusan ran the article entitled Nasib Melayu di bumi Melayu or Fate of Malays in the Malay land . The translation of the excerpts that the Teohs found insulting and unacceptable were:

“The Wanita MCA chief released a more extreme statement urging the Home Affairs Minister to grant legitimate status to the unborn child carried by Beng Hock’s girlfriend instead of a child born out of wedlock.

“Even though we all know that they were not officially married or had been cohabiting outside of marriage. Which means, the child is still a bastard child or a child born out of wedlock. How many more children born out of wedlock do we want to legitimise?

“Is the Wanita MCA chief aware of how many Malay Muslim girls have become victims (cohabiting with their Muslim or non-Muslim partners, whether forced or voluntarily), giving birth to children out of wedlock who do not carry their fathers’ names?

“Why has the MCA not defended them? Why did MCA not go see the Home Affairs Minister to legitimise these adulterous relationships? Whatever the cause of Beng Hock’s death, illegitimate relationships remain illegitimate, it cannot be legitimised just because of this incident.

“If fate had it that the Gautama Buddha (also Confucius and Lao Tzu) were still living, certainly the action of the Wanita MCA chief would be condemned because Buddha’s teachings (also other religions, especially Islam) forbid cohabitation (adultery) outside of marriage, what more producing a child born out of wedlock.”

The Sham

If his predecessor Abdullah Badawai was known as the sleeping-beauty PM, then Najib can count on being remembered as being the sham PM.

Although he only officially took over only on April 3, he has already frustrated the nation with grand but hollow proclamations, wasted millions of taxpayer’s money on unnecessary public relations and totally destroyed public confidence in the country’s system of governance.

And as if the controversy over Beng Hock’s inquest and the RCI were not enough, he has stirred a fresh hornet’s nest by sanctioning brutal police attacks against an anti-ISA rally on Saturday.

The Internal Security Act is an archaic and foul law long abused by bullies in his Umno-BN coalition to lock-up dissenters and political foes without trial and for indefinite periods of time.

We have no choice but to change or we ourselves will be changed. How many times have Malaysians heard Najib say this. Yet, how many times have Malaysians also seen him totally disregard these words in exchange for quick political fixes and worse still – for reasons as frivolous as saving his own face.

Vanity. Form without Substance. Sound and Fury but no Core. A Priority on Packaging not Reforms. These are but some of the criticisms that have been repeatedly levelled at him.

It is doubtful that Najib can ever regain the advantage nor the trust of Malaysians. But a good way to make some small amends would be to try to keep as many of the promises he made to the Teoh family.

Provided, of course. that he can remember what it was that he said to them – a very humble and down-to-earth family from a small town in Alor Gajah still struggling to come to terms with their sudden and awful loss.