Kit Siang: Forced suicide is homicide

By Yow Hong Chieh
July 21, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, July 21 — Lim Kit Siang has likened Teoh Beng Hock’s suicide under duress from graftbusters to murder and said that those responsible for his death must “face the full consequences”.

The DAP parliamentary leader said any layman would agree that being forced to commit suicide by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers was not the same as suicide but was “equal to homicide”.

“You cannot have a situation it’s not homicide but (rather) forced to commit suicide,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

Lim (picture) claimed the national anti-graft body was “overzealous” in pursuing the case involving Teoh’s boss, Seri Kembangan assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah, because it was under orders to “destroy” the opposition.

A royal commission of inquiry (RCI) into Teoh’s death ruled today that the DAP aide committed suicide as a result of pressure from aggressive and continuous questioning by MACC officers.

The officers had wanted to pressure Teoh to be a witness in their case against Ean Yong for alleged abuse of public funds.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Nazri Aziz disclosed the finding today which, he said, was unanimous.

Ean Yong said he did not believe Teoh committed suicide but pointed out that the RCI report clearly showed that MACC officers had abused their power and failed to follow procedures.

“The people of Malaysia will have their own judgment on this case and we will continue to find the truth about the death of Teoh,” he said.

  1. #1 by sheriff singh on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 5:14 pm

    ‘Forced suicide’ is a misnomer, don’t you think?

    TBH was certainly put under tremendous pressure that (may) have led him to commit suicide as he could not handle the stress which (may) have affected his mental faculties at that crucial time.

  2. #2 by balance88 on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 5:16 pm

    RCI report – What a Load of Rubbish!! All facts of the case makes suicide extremely difficult to believe. Hogwash! TBH was brought in to provide info and not as a criminal. Why then is he subjected to intense questioning? If there are proofs of wrongdoing, just charge him in the court of law. Obviously, there are none.

    Totally agree with Uncle Lim. Even we accept it is suicide, it is forced suicide amounting to homicide. Only in Malaysia that people of authority can get away with murder.

    What happened to TBH is probably what happened in Sarbani’s case based on Raja Petra’s deepthroat story.

    With 2 deaths at MACC, why is its director still in office. He should resign on his own accord to take full responsibility for his men’s action. In Japan, their leaders commit suicide themselves!

  3. #3 by sheriff singh on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 5:22 pm

    Putting “aggressive, relentless, oppressive and unscrupulous” pressure on TBH was really going overboard as he was not guilty of any wrong doing and was never charged.

    This is certainly going against his human and legal rights especially when we consider ourselves to be a democratic country with proper laws.

    There is a need for a lot of changes.

  4. #4 by gofortruth on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 5:30 pm

    A force confession that backfired just like Sarbani’s? Call it by any other name, it still is a clear case of heinous murder & getting away with it.

    There is no justice in Malaysia as yet. We need CHANGE!

  5. #5 by sheriff singh on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 5:32 pm

    When you ‘force’ someone, it presupposes that the perpetrator was present at that time to ‘force’ the action. Was any MACC officer there forcing TBH to commit suicide?

    If TBH was disorientated and later committed suicide in his confused state of mind, he would not then be ‘forced’. He just didn’t know what he was doing.

    MACC officers’ actions could have led to the suicide but as it stands, they did not ‘force’ the action. They, no doubt, will have to be held accountable for their high-handedness and perhaps illegal actions.

  6. #6 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 5:41 pm

    Suicide – forced by aggressive interrogation – due to TBH being “weak” and converting from low risk to high risk category of people taking their own lives is theory based on pure BS. It flies in the face of common sense of common people. There’s no logic at all in the reasoning behind RCI’s finding (as so far reported).

    He had every reason to live being an expectant husband & father that would have turned him, had he been in first instance even in the high risk category (which he was definitely not) to a low risk one!

    Coroner Azmil in the Inquest had enough integrity to at least rule out suicide, whatever that may be said of him also precluding homicide, he at least raised doubts that TBH could have exited unaided from 14th floor of Plaza Masalam. Forget about getting any other RCI for anything.

  7. #7 by Cinapek on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 6:09 pm

    According to the Oxford dictionary, “Suicide” is defined as ” the action of killing oneself intentionally”. If indeed TBH was forced to commit suicide, how could that be a self intentional act? If someone forced him, it is an external act/person that forced him. And by simple logic the person who exerted the force is liable and accountable.

    I am not sure but perhaps the legal eagles can clarify this but is there such an act as “forced suicide”? Are we adding a new form of “cide” to suicide and homicide?

    Somehow I have the feeling that this was a compromise decision to try to satisfy all parties. I hope I am wrong because it is setting a dangerous precedent. In future, law enforcement agencies could claim “forced suicide” for all unexplained deaths that occurred while in their custody. We already have the Ahmad Sarbaini case. Also “forced suicide”? And we still have many other deaths in police custody yet to be satisfactorily explained.

    Do not let TBH gave his life in vain. His supreme sacrifice must be the catalyst to stop this madness.

  8. #8 by k1980 on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 6:29 pm

    Arman Alies, Mohd Ashraf Mohd Yunus and HH will be quietly transferred to other macc dept and then promoted to heads of their respective depts as a reward for their meritorious services to the country.

  9. #9 by k1980 on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 6:34 pm

    New bolehland term– forced suicide = forcicide.

    Kugan also committed forcicide.

    Sarbani also committed forcicide.

    Amirulrasid also committed forcicide.

    Barhanuddin Ahmad also committed forcicide.

    Nobody to balme for their deaths except themselves.

  10. #10 by k1980 on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 6:38 pm

    I put a knife at your throat and then I push your head forward, so that your throat is slit. Isn’t this forced suicide? You killed yourself, didn’t you? I am not involved in your death, am I? Wakakakakka!

  11. #11 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 6:39 pm

    So TBH and Malaysia make record in Guiness Book of Record? Where in the world has there ever been a properly documented case of someone who committed suicide due to aggressive and continuous police questioning??? Accoding to RCI Prof Mullen said TBH Teoh Beng Hock had committed suicide based on his character that had changed from a low-risk group to a high-risk group for suicide after undergoing a continuous and aggressive questioning session. Can Prof Mullen cite us one or two cases this phenomenon had happened before? Or is it a figment of his noverstimulated imagination? The infamous Abu Ghraib interrogations were a 100 times longer and worse than this – with plenty of torture thrown in – and have we ever heard of any inmate / detainee crossing the threshold to commit suicide? Even Japanese Kempeitai methods of torture during World War II – they had caused death but I know not of any victim/detainee commiting suicide because of that!

  12. #12 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 6:41 pm

    The RCI’s Verdict is Common Sense, Reason and Justice having been forced to commit suicide! That I believe.

  13. #13 by ktteokt on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 6:49 pm

    But don’t forget TBH was only a WITNESS and not A CRIMINAL!!!!!!

  14. #14 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 6:49 pm

    As I said before if aggressive and continuous police questioning caused suicide then death by suicide should be during the questioning when MACC interrogators were present or soon after the interrogation ending at 3.45 am. But TBH’s death (allegedly by suicide) was between 7.15am and 11.15am on July 16, 2009 based on testimony from Govt’s own pathologists – a good 5 hour later! You mean the pressure lasted for 5 hours? He had time at 6 am to walk to the pantry, think about the “pressure” 3 hours earlier (instead of going home to see his fiancee) and then after that think of which appropriate spot in Plaza Masalam to jump? You think we’re morons on what listening to kid’s story?

  15. #15 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 6:58 pm

    /// I put a knife at your throat and then I push your head forward, so that your throat is slit. Isn’t this forced suicide? You killed yourself, didn’t you? /// – K1980.

    If thats the case if I point the gun at you and shoot you – that also forced suicide, since you were so depressed you forgot to duck the bullet, or did not duck fast enough! You are therefore guilty of murdering yourself by suicide – me, just negligence of discharging the firearm too early for you to duck.

  16. #16 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 7:08 pm

    We cannot – and ought not to accept suicide as having happened in first instance, and then go forward from there to extrapolate that since its ‘forced’ suicide it tantamount to homicide..Thats not a correct position or argument to take. The reason lies in Causation. MACC interrogators (said to have exceeded limits of interrogation) cannot by this train of argument be made culpable of homicide because their excessive action did not directly cause the suicide. The link & chain of causation is broken by allegedly intervening factor – the victim’s weak character because had it been a normal much more a strong person, such aggressive interrogation would not have led to suicide. So aggressive interrogation is not = homicide in the form of forced suicide because it could have in normal cases been averted. This is not a stand we should take. It is an insult to and a double injury to TBH to suggest so.

  17. #17 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 7:17 pm

    Its a plain logic: if aggressive interrogation that could cause an especially vulnerable or mentally or emotionally weak and unstable person to commit suicide but will not have the same effect on normal persons, then you cannot say that the interrogators who might have caused death of the victim have also caused death in the ‘homicide’ sense knowing the probabily that what they did would cause death. They could easily explain way that they did not know the victim was unusually weak and emotionally unstable compared to average to ameliorate the guilt of their wrong doings. You should not adopt this argument at all to show homicide. Homicide is someone within MACC precincts knowing did something that directly caused TBH’s death and knowing what he did would so cause it, whether or not the one who died was weak or strong, stable or unstable. Thats homicide!

  18. #18 by yhsiew on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 7:36 pm

    Forced suicide is second degree murder.

  19. #19 by Godfather on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 7:47 pm

    Third Party Induced Suicide – that’s got to be a first in any textbook.

  20. #20 by k1980 on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 7:49 pm

    From wikipedia—

    Forced suicide is a method of execution where the victim is coerced into committing suicide to avoid facing an alternative option they perceive as much worse, such as suffering torture or having friends or family members imprisoned or tortured or killed. Another common form historically has been deliberately providing a condemned individual with a weapon and a brief period in which to commit honourable suicide if he or she chooses before being executed. Because the victim’s cause of death would be registered as suicide, the act also carries an additional benefit as black propaganda against individuals for whom an open execution would generate unwanted attention due to the suicide’s position or influence.

    Forced suicide was a common means of execution in ancient Greece and Rome. As a mark of respect it was generally reserved for aristocrats sentenced to death; the victims would either drink hemlock or fall on their swords. Economic motivations promoted some suicides in ancient Rome. A person who was condemned to death would forfeit property to the government. People could evade that provision and let the property pass to their heirs by committing suicide prior to arrest. Probably the most famous forced suicide is that of the philosopher Socrates, who drank hemlock after his trial for allegedly corrupting the youth of Athens. The Stoic philosopher Seneca also killed himself in response to a request by his pupil, the Roman Emperor Nero, who himself was forced to commit suicide at a later date. Other famous forced suicides include those of Brutus, Mark Antony and Emperor Otho.

    Forced suicides have occurred in ancient China, where generals who were responsible for major debacles that seriously brought a downfall in the course of a state’s history would be held liable and were given orders to commit suicide. It was also the most common way to execute female criminals, as it was considered more humane than beheading. In India, the ancient practice of sati, in which a recently-widowed woman would immolate herself on her husband’s funeral pyrehich a recently-widowed woman would immolate herself on her husband’s funeral pyre. Another famous example is the forced suicide of Erwin Rommel, a field marshal in the German Army during the Second World War. After Rommel lost faith in Germany’s ability to win the war, and came under suspicion for having taken part in the July 20, 1944 plot to kill Adolf Hitler, he was forced to commit suicide. Due to Rommel’s popularity with the German people, Hitler gave him an option to commit suicide with cyanide or face dishonor and retaliation against his family and staff. Since the guilty verdict had already been entered, the option of facing trial was hopeless, and thus, in order to save his family and his honor, he was forced to take cyanide.

  21. #21 by Bigjoe on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 8:19 pm

    My 3-year old can give better excuses than this.. THESE PEOPLE HAVE COMPLETELY LOST IT..The conclusion is dubious on its own and its credibility completely destroyed by their reasoning its not homicide.

    Its amazing so many people with so much under their belt, ultimately revealed themselves to be fakes – their entire career and personal credibility means zero to me. Its more than likely their career and lives is one of evil and harm to others, totally shameful like street criminals..

  22. #22 by gofortruth on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 8:24 pm

    We can’t trust our government ministries,
    we can’t trust our police,
    we can’t trust our Judiciary,
    we can’t trust of Election commission,
    we can’t trust our MACC and
    NOW we can’t even trust our RCI!
    Suddenly I feel pity for our Agong & his decaying nation!

  23. #23 by Jong on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 8:35 pm

    So they conclude TBH committed suicide. His belt snapped because MACC interrogators tried to stop him from jumping? No, no one came forward that they saw him jumped. But his belt snapped.

    I guess Ahmad Sarbarni too committed suicide. Still want RCI?

  24. #24 by cemerlang on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 9:20 pm

    In a war, when an armed forces personnel is captured, he will keep repeating his numbers even when he is tortured and until his death. That is how he is taught not to betray his country and to have the strength to face what is coming. Every armed forces personnel has a number. His mind must be strong. The interrogation technique is meant to break your spirit. To own up even if you did not do it. It is base on disbelief on your innocence and on the belief that you are wrong or you are a criminal from the very start. So you keep asking the same questions and you keep hitting at him with questions until he owns up because he could be the criminal or he is too tired and just let you have your bloody way. Firstly, it is inhumane to torture a person mentally. Secondly, it is a crime to make somebody die because he did not have to die, he did not have to choose to die, he could have lived on. Dying unwillingly is something those involved have to be responsible.

  25. #25 by Loh on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 10:11 pm

    I had to take the KTN Komuter train from KL Sentral at around 7 PM. KTM announced that the middle coach of the three-coach train was meant for women only. But the passengers packed the train like sardines, and so men went into the women-only coach too.

    If the Ministry of Transport intends to have a coach reserved for women only, why can’t KTM add one more coach rather than taking one away and deprive men of the opportunity to travel? At 7 PM rush hour, the passengers could easily have filled 10 coaches, with passengers seated. Why cannot KTM provide more coaches at rush hour? If KTM can spend the money laying the tracks why can’t KTM borrow money to buy coaches. Based on the performance of KTM what good is the MRT from Sungai Buloh to Kajang when it might also run a three-coach train.

    Instead of caring about whether motorists could remember to renew their driving licenses, the Minister of Transport should have spent time to learn about how commuters suffer using the train to and from work. Just travel in the evening of any working day. But can we trust MCA minister to do his job?

  26. #26 by gemowe on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 10:13 pm

    I do not think anyone can interpret the law as they like. You cannot say that suicide is homicide.
    A while back, there was a case of internet bullying (on MySpace) in the USA that resulted in a teenage girl, Megan Taylor Meier, committing suicide by hanging. The culprit was Meier’s friend’s mother, who was her neighbour. The older woman gained Meier’s confidence and then humiliated her. The public uproar was very loud. Still the US Court did not state it was murder. They passed Laws to penalise Cyber Bullying after this incident.
    No one should make up laws as they like if there isn’t any, or interpret laws as they like.
    If you want PR to be better than BN, then you must rise above saying things like this.

  27. #27 by Loh on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 10:17 pm

    If death by suicide should take place, it would be during the interrogation when the victim chose to cut short his sufferings. It would not be after the victims had survived the interrogation! How can one take revenge? It would not be turning to become a ghost which people of centuries past believed. The revenge is to overthrow BN and kick the current crop of MACC personnel out of their job.

  28. #28 by Loh on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 10:20 pm

    According to RPK’s report number 7/8, Ahmad Sarbani was made to stand outside the window like a teacher punishing a student. TBH was unconscious during the fall. He was murdered.

  29. #29 by limkamput on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 11:23 pm

    RCI, on what basis you concluded that it was a suicide? If it is a suicide, TBH must die alone. If MACC officers are a pack of liars, why do you believe in the final hour of TBH he was alone? Tell me how you do you come to that conclusion? Since they are lying, why can’t you conclude that when TBH died, he was not alone? Just a simple question for you to ponder over.

  30. #30 by aiD_kamikuP on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 11:36 pm

    This just about underscores the ever growing Malaysian public opinion – ‘Does anyone have anymore faith in anything that comes out from Officialdom?’.

    Can the conclusion be anymore BIZZARE???

    If the royal commission had not been forced to commit suicide in arriving at that conclusion as a result of aggressive pressure then I think this country has really gone to the dogs!.

  31. #31 by aiD_kamikuP on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 11:41 pm

    Well, even if the RCI WAS forced to commit suicide as a result of aggressive external pressure, this country would also have gone to the dogs.

  32. #32 by sightseeing on Friday, 22 July 2011 - 1:30 am

    //You cannot say that suicide is homicide.// gemowe

    Please read carefully before you comment.

    Kit did not say suicide is homicide. He said ||forced suicide||.

  33. #33 by balance88 on Friday, 22 July 2011 - 9:47 am

    Yes, gemowe, pls try to understand what Uncle Lim said before you comment.

  34. #34 by mickeytiger2006 on Friday, 22 July 2011 - 10:02 am

    The RCI panel is a bunch of jokers. Whether there is a RCI into TBH or not, there is a no difference. There is no justice done instead more harm is done to the family of TBH. Forced by suicide? RCI must be be a panel of fools who behaved like more than morons than human. The coroner had said it is not suicide!

  35. #35 by drngsc on Friday, 22 July 2011 - 12:00 pm

    I must say that I have not read the full RCI report. From reading what Kit wrote and what is available in the press, it looks like the RCI’ s conclusion is reasonable. In the final moments, TBH may have jumped from the window, have suffered severe undue stress. Kit calls it forced suicide. The RCI did established that there are obviously 3 errant MACC officers who were responsible for TBH’s state of mind. Their methods of interrogations did not follow standard operating procedures of MACC.
    These 3 officers were responsible for TBH’s death whether it was forced suicide or not. They should be held accountable and charged with homicide. They are responsible for TBH’s death.
    Also, the whole MACC needs a revamp, or close down.

    We must change the tenant at Putrajaya.

  36. #36 by ktteokt on Friday, 22 July 2011 - 7:31 pm

    From what I gathered from the nonsensical royal commission inquiry, it means that Teoh Beng Hock was driven to commit suicide due to heavy interrogation which means the three top idiots from MACC were PHYSICALLY PRESENT at the place of death of TBH! But why did they deny knowing anything about TBH’s death right from the start of the investigations into his death??????? Just hold them responsible and charge them for MURDER!

  37. #37 by Loh on Friday, 22 July 2011 - 9:13 pm

    I took the KTM Komuter from KL Sentral again today at 5.30 PM. It was as bad as at 7 PM Yesterday. KTM Komuter was supposed to run at 15 minutes interval. But it is invariably delayed, partly because the carriages are so crowded that passengers obstructed the doors from closing, at every stop along the way. At 15 minutes’ interval, there are more passengers at KL Sentral than the available standing space the trains could provide. Some passengers were sensible to await the next train. When the train stops at the next station, a couple of passengers might alight, but more passengers considered that they had the acquired privilege after having waited for the train, forced their way in, and the crowding in the coach gets worse. The train ride certainly put tremendous pressure on the health of the passengers.

    After having built the infrastructure for the Komuter train why cannot KTM look into the timing and volume of the passengers and make the train rides more appealing. That would increase the revenue for KTM and reduce traffic jams on the roads.

    For a start why cannot KTM take out a loan to buy more trains and carriages so that Komuter would have twice the number of seating capacity and standing room space at rush hour. Why can’t KTM schedule their trains at five minutes interval. They would be able to keep time if passengers do not have to elbow their way into the train and the doors could be closed without obstruction. KTM has no excuse for not being able to improve Komuter train services. AAB said we have first class infrastructure but third class mentality. In the case of KTM, it is first class infrastructure but cave-men mentality!

    The terrible state at KTM could be due to the incapability of the Transport Minister. But then KTM top management cannot be expected to respect the Minister. The terrible state of train rides in Komuter trains show that the Minister and the top management of KTM need a sack.

  38. #38 by Loh on Friday, 22 July 2011 - 9:15 pm

    ///Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said he had explained to his British counterpart David Cameron on the real intention of the illegal rally in the federal capital on July 9, during his four-day..///–Malaysiakini

    Najib can speculate all he like about the real intention of Bersih, the fact was Najib offered a stadium but failed to keep his words.

  39. #39 by ktteokt on Friday, 22 July 2011 - 11:25 pm

    I never expect James Foong who is such a senior judge to make such a stupid statement and come up with a new term “FORCED SUICIDE”! I think this term does not exist in my Criminal Law text book by Smith & Hogan!

  40. #40 by Loh on Saturday, 23 July 2011 - 5:04 pm

    ktteokt :
    I never expect James Foong who is such a senior judge to make such a stupid statement and come up with a new term “FORCED SUICIDE”! I think this term does not exist in my Criminal Law text book by Smith & Hogan!

    ‘Forced suicide’ is not suicide since suicide has to be initiated by the deceased, without external force being applied. ‘Forced suicide’ should mean that death brought about by external force. The word suicide in ‘forced suicide’ should take the meaning of death. The judge created the phrase to have it meant for different thing to different persons. One would expect a judge to judge based on facts and without fear and favour. But we see people act with fear and favour.

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