The Cabinet has approved for the setting up of an inquest to the ‘sudden death’ of Political Secretary Teoh Beng Hock and Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to look into MACC’s method of operations and interogation.
The Star has the story:
Published: Wednesday July 22, 2009 MYT 5:18:00 PM
Updated: Wednesday July 22, 2009 MYT 8:47:44 PM
Inquest into Teoh’s death, Royal Commission on MACC’s treatment (Updated with Q&A)
By ZULKIFLI ABD RAHMAN and DHARMENDER SINGH
PUTRAJAYA: The Cabinet has agreed to set up an inquest into the death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock as well as a Royal Commission of Inquiry to look into the interrogation methods used on him by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the Cabinet during its meeting Wednesday also decided that the inquest into Teoh’s cause of death would be headed by a magistrate as dictated by law.
It will be up to the courts to decide which magistrate would be in charge of the inquest, he added.
Najib said the courts had already been notified of the Cabinet decision and he expected the inquest to begin sometime next week.
“The Royal Commission will be set up according to specific terms, which is to scrutinise and study the procedures related to interrogations that are used by the MACC. It will also identify if there were any violations of human rights during Teoh’s interrogation.
“The members of the Commission will be announced later ,” he told a press conference here Wednesday.
He said the investigations by the Royal Commission were necessary to ensure there was no repeat of such incidents and the steps being taken mirrored the Government’s commitment to finding out the cause of death so that Teoh’s family and the public can know what really happened.
Teoh, 30, was found dead on the fifth floor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam last Thursday after giving his statement to the Selangor MACC which had been investigating allegations that certain state assemblymen had misused constituency funds.
Teoh, Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah’s political secretary, was not a suspect but had been questioned as a witness.
Najib said that in line with the 1Malaysia concept of “People First, Performance Now,” he had told the Cabinet that government institutions were created to protect the people’s rights and interests, and as such they cannot act against or neglect these interests or act beyond the country’s laws and Constitution.
He said the Cabinet also ordered the Home Ministry and the police to complete the investigations into the Teoh’s death as soon as possible and he was told that it would be ready within the next few days.
He said the report would be made public when it was completed and he would personally meet with Teoh’s family to explain to them the findings.
He also said that Cabinet members were just as anxious to know the cause of death and hoped that all parties would be patient and refrain from making statements that could cause confusion or create the wrong perception on the issue while the investigations were still ongoing.
He also called on all parties not to politicise Teoh’s death.
The following are Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s responses to questions from the media:
Was there any pressure to form the Commission?
Najib: No. It’s because we want to establish the truth and it’s important for us to ensure public faith and confidence in important institutions that we have in this country.
When do you think the police can complete their investigations? What kind of time frame will be set?
I know that the police can wrap up their investigations very soon. I think we are talking about a matter of days. For the magistrate (on the inquest), I don’t want to put a time frame because that is up to the magistrate to decide (on when it should be held). The Royal Commission will be established quite soon.
The investigation by the Royal Commission, will it be into Teoh’s death?
It will be on the procedures (of MACC interrogations). The inquest will look into Teoh’s death,
Who will be the members of the Commission?
We will announce this later.
Have you named the magistrate?
No, that is up to the court to decide. We have taken steps to notify the court of the need to convene an inquest. So I expect the inquest to start some time within next week.
There’s an online news portal (saying) that the MACC has suspended their investigation into the alleged misuse of constituency funds by Selangor exco members.
No, we cannot have any presumption (of guilt). We have to wait for the results of the investigations first.
What will the Commission investigate?
It will be on the (MACC’s) procedures relating to its investigation, not the investigation on Teoh’s death and the normal investigations conducted by the MACC.
Has the MACC investigation team been suspended?
They have not been suspended, but the lead investigator has been reassigned to the (MACC) headquarters. We cannot have a presumption of guilt.
Will the Commission investigate Teoh’s death?
No, the death will be left to the inquest. The inquest on the cause of death is conducted by a magistrate, so we have to follow the law.
This move by the Cabinet is much sought after decision by some of the Malaysian public. The Oppositions, especially the DAP usually would capitalise such opportunity to belittle, if not demonize the enforcement authorities, like the Police and MACC. The inquest would be carried out by a masgistrate and dependant on the Police investigations where else the MACC would be scrutinised for the operational methods. Both would be beneficial to both agencies as credibility and integrity of the Police would be improved if not restored and the MACC would be free from the perception painted by the Oppositions as a ‘murder house’.
The Oppositions, especially the DAP have been politicizing, even on racial tones and the public forum at Georgetown yesterday was at the borderline of breaking the internal security code of inciting and instigation. They plan to take the forum on a roadshow across the nation. However, there are so many ambiguity and mystery to the ‘sudden death’ looming in the heads of the average persons of the street.
The “Thirteen Million Ringgit” questions are:
1.0 How would the DAP fair when the inquest is carried out and the magistrate finds the truth?
So much has been said about Selangor DAP elected representatives and even State Excos being involved with the Lords of the Underworld Vices. These accusations were not made by BN Leaders but came from PKR elected representatives, who are DAP cohorts and ‘strange bedfellow’s partners in the ‘marriage of incovenience’ and an ‘unholy union’.
1.1. One question is our mind here in BigDogDotCom: Why was Selangor State Exco for Local Government Ronnie Liu was so frantic looking for Teoh’s notebook PC and handphone to a point where he broke the door at the Tuanku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital mortuary?
1.2. Amongst the things he specifically reminded the Teoh family was to demand the return of Teoh’s notebook PC and handphone. What information are so important in these devices to Ronnie Liu? Are the information contained in these devices will incriminate him and actually provide evidence of his linkages to the Lords of the Underworld Vices?
2.0. Why is DAP appointed Kajang Municipal Councillor Tan Boon Wah was reluctant and later refused to give his statement to the Police?
2.1. Since at this point it is established that Tan was the last person to see Teoh alive, would that make him a suspect?
2.2. If Teoh’s ‘sudden death’ is neither a suicide nor accident (which is most unlikely probability), is it a murder?
2.3. If it is a murder and Teoh and Tan were together in the early hours of Thursday morning in the MACC office at Plaza Masalam, then why is only Teoh is murdered and Tan is not? Is Tan connected to the murder?
3.0. What is the linkage between MACC original investigations of misappropriation and abuse of state funds to Teoh’s ‘sudden death’?
3.1. Is the misappropriation and/or abuse of state funds has something to do with the Lords of the Underworld Vices?
3.2. If there is, how far reaching is this involvement? Is it within Selangor or include DAP controlled states like Penang and formerly Perak as well?
These are the questions that so many people talk about when they meet up since late Thursday, regardless at work, during meal or snack time, outside work or even social gatherings. Soon, we will all know the truth.
The plot thickens. Its time to cross our fingers and bring the popcorn out. Of course the usual Opposition theaterics, which former abuse-of-power convict Anwar “Drama King” Ibrahim is known for since 2 September 1998 will be thrown to confuse and divert the attention of the real issues at hand, such as:
1. The Police investigations are flawed
2. AG and the Police falsified and tempered with evidence
3. The post mortem report is doctored and flawed
4. The chemical, laboratory and electronic audit reports are flawed and inconclusive
5. Statutory declarations would be thrown like happy hour darters
6. The Judge is bias
7. Material witness is missing
8. The acused has been served with food meant for caged animals, if not systematically poisoned
Then there would these usual theratical stunts the Oppositions mastered like:
1. Delay tactics
2. Trial within a trial “Malay Police and MACC officers are racially biased against DAP Leaders acused for the ‘sudden death’ “
Anything and everything is thrown as an attempt to ‘throw spanner to the works’. When it comes to sought justice when the Oppositions are wronged, it always come back to those.
It is expected to be one hell of a show, with DAP theaterics at its best!
P.S. We at BigDogDotCom hope the ongoing investogations against DAP elected representatives for misappropriation of state funds and abuse of power will be continued and heads will roll, even after this inquest and RCI.