Kerk: Teoh’s family wants the truth

Translated by DOMINIC LOH/Sin Chew Daily

Kerk Kim Hock, the coordinator for the family of Teoh Beng Hock, said the family refused to let Thai pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand carry out a second post-mortem this July because they were not pyschologically prepared for it at that time, and also because of the time-consuming procedure of claiming Teoh’s body.

Kerk said when Teoh just passed away, his family rejected Dr Pornthip’s request for a second post-mortem mainly because of the delay and they were also uncertain of the cause of his death.

A post-mortem was conducted by the Malaysian forensic doctors on 17 July, a day after Teoh’s body was found dead at the Selangor MACC headquarters.

“They didn’t know much about Dr Pornthip at that time, and no one told us how big the probability of finding the actual cause of Teoh’s death was. Given the anxiety and pressure they were under back then, as well as restrictions in Chinese traditions, the Teoh family refused to let Pornthip, who arrived in Malaysia only on the afternoon of 18 July, to conduct a second post-mortem.”

Kerk told Sin Chew Daily during an exclusive interview, now that the family had made the decision to exhume Teoh’s body, they hoped the decision would be understood and supported by the public, adding that exhumation was a very painful and difficult decision to make for the family.

He insisted that the decision was made by the Teoh family itself, and that they had discussed over and again and felt the action was right and necessary.

“I believe outsiders will have their own views whatever decision the family has made.”

Kerk said since the family knew that Dr Pornthip would appear at the court hearing two to three weeks ago, they had already started discussing whether it was necessary to exhume Teoh’s body.

As such, he said the final decision of exhumation was made after painstaking discussions over time.

“The Teoh family has always come under tremendous pressure, including that from external inquisitions.”

He said the Teoh family had come to the realisation that even if assistance from the world’s most renowed experts was to be enlisted, evidences were essential before the truth could be unearthed.

As a result, Kerk said the Teoh family had made the tough and tearful decision to have his body exhumed.

“Many people feel the case will eventually die down. This is going to be a very tough and tortuous journey that the Teoh family needs to walk with hope.”