Kit Siang: Was Teoh forced to commit suicide?

By Clara Chooi, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 11 – DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang asked today whether Teoh Beng Hock had been “forced to commit suicide” when he plunged to his death last year, in view of the sudden appearance of a new piece of evidence in his ongoing inquest.

Lim demanded the authorities to conduct a full investigation into the possibility and criticised Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail for purportedly suppressing the new evidence, believed to be a suicide note.

“Putting aside the questions of the veracity of the note and whether it is a suicide note, does the new evidence show that Teoh had been placed under great stress and pressures, whether mental or physical, by the MACC interrogators and if so, was this aspect fully pursued by the AG through the public prosecutor in the inquest?” he said in a statement, referring to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

The Ipoh Timur MP said that he had been asked by a member of the public if it was possible that Teoh had been forced to commit suicide and if so, whether it was a crime for a person to force another to commit such an act.

“This is a question that must be fully and thoroughly investigated by the inquest,” he said.

Lim was referring to the shocking revelation in court on Monday when the AG’s office gave notice in chambers that they intended to tender a new piece of evidence in the form of a note purportedly discovered in Teoh’s bag ten months ago.

The AG subsequently received flak from all quarters, including from Teoh’s family and their lawyer, Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo, for failing to tender the note as evidence earlier during the inquest.

The Bar Council has also called for the setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the matter, pointing out that the introduction of the note could very well change the course of the ongoing inquest.

The AG’s Chambers however has since denied allegations that it had suppressed evidence and said in a statement that it would only tender a document as evidence once it was satisfied that any shroud of suspicion surrounding it had been lifted.

Lim however said the AG Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail should be censured for the “travesty of justice” in exposing details of new evidence not yet tendered in Teoh’s inquest.

“This is in addition to the gross irregularity and impropriety of the AG in suppressing the new evidence, which should have been introduced at the beginning of the inquest as it would affect the whole course and direction of the inquest through cross-examination of witnesses,” he said.

He claimed that due to leaks in the media, the country was now awash with talk of the suicide note supposedly left behind by Teoh, and added that this undermined the people’s confidence in national institutions.