Discontinue the Teoh Beng Hock inquest

by P. Ramakrishnan

We are gathered here today to express our solidarity with the Teoh family.

We are here to express our sorrow over the tragic death of Teoh Beng Hock. We are here to share the pain and anguish that his family is suffering on a daily basis.

Teoh Beng Hock’s death has outraged the conscience of this nation. It is difficult to understand how his death could have taken place in a secure area without the knowledge of MACC officials who had complete control over the premises.

His death has distressed us and has raised many questions of propriety in the manner he was treated by the investigating personnel. He was on his feet working the whole of Wednesday, 15 July 2009, when he was taken in at 5.00pm for questioning.

His cruel grilling continued into the wee hours of the next morning until 3.45am the next day — nearly 11 hours after he had gone into the MACC building.

Why should he be subjected to this inhuman torture when he was taken in as a witness to help the MACC?

It is public knowledge that one Tan Boon Wah, another witness, who was in the building at the same time as Beng Hock, had stated that he had to stand the whole time he was being questioned without food, sleep, rest or break.

Beng Hock’s session could not have been any different. He must have been deprived of food, denied sleep and rest and subjected to intense questioning for nearly 11 hours.
Anyone who had been subjected to this torture would have bolted from this hell hole when he was released at 3.45am. Why then didn’t he leave the place in a hurry?

How, why and when did he die?

Is it believable that his death took place without the knowledge of the MACC?

“How can a bright young man walk into MACC office as a witness, only to return as a dead body?” Lim Kit Siang rightly demanded to know.

But after more than one year we are still waiting for answers that are not forthcoming to reveal the truth.

We were told that the findings would be made known within two months. Now, after more than one year, we are nowhere nearer the truth; no one is any wiser when the findings would be concluded.

We are still in the dark as to what caused his death and who contributed to this tragic episode. The mystery surrounding Beng Hock’s death should have been vigorously and relentlessly pursued to unravel the truth at the shortest possible time.

But what we are witnessing is the sad fact that the inquest has not moved with the speed this issue deserves. There is no sense of urgency. All that we have witnessed are delays and denials adding to the agony and anguish to the Teoh family.

It is totally unfair to them that they should suffer this dereliction without any sign of closure to this tragedy.

There is now a ridiculous attempt to introduce so-called new evidence to suggest suicide. Suddenly a handwritten note has been discovered but which was not submitted as evidence at the beginning of the inquest, nor was this fact disclosed to the lawyers representing the Teoh family and the Selangor state government.

There was even this absurd suggestion that Beng Hock could have strangled himself. When asked by Gobind Singh how this could be possible, the DPP Abdul Razak Musa came across as a clown when he tried to choke himself.

I wish that he had succeeded and spared us the torment of listening to his ludicrous cross examination of Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand! There was yet another opportunity for him to escape the embarrassment that he was going through.

However, it is a pity that when Abdul Razak asked Dr Pornthip if she had jumped off a building, nobody took advantage of this and to ask him how one does that!
His demonstration would have ended this comic opera!

When one is seeking the truth, no stone should be left unturned; no scrap of evidence should be overlooked. But, unfortunately, this wasn’t the case with this inquiry.

According to the investigating officer, he found a note in Beng Hock’s sling bag but put it aside because he “did not realise the significance of it”.

What gave him that right to come to this conclusion? His duty and business should have been to sieve through every item that was in that sling bag for possible clues.
But he behaved like a clueless clot displaying a total lack of discernment.

The Attorney-General’s conduct was no better. The AG’s clarification – that when this note was finally brought to his attention on October 7, 2009, he wanted further investigations to be carried out — is indeed baffling.

He should have tendered this note to the coroner for the court to determine its authenticity and relevance to the case. To submit this so-called “new evidence” some 10 months later is totally unacceptable.

It only raises questions of ethics and propriety. From whatever angle one may look at this situation, there is only one inevitable conclusion — evidence has been clearly and surreptitiously suppressed.

Instead of assisting by all means to arrive at the truth, the AG’s Chambers have not acted in a transparent and honest manner by hanging on to this so-called “new evidence” that now suddenly seems to have assumed “significance”.

This so-called “new evidence” has unfairly disrupted the entire proceedings and made the inquiry untenable. If it had been tendered from the very beginning, the trend of questioning would have taken a different form and direction.

There seems to be a serious contradiction in the statement issued by the AG’s Chambers as to when the note was discovered.

In Paragraph 4, the statement reads: “According to the investigation officer, it was not found when he first searched the deceased’s sling bag after the incident.”

But in Paragraph 10, we are told: “However, recently the investigation officer owned up by admitting that he did in fact find the note when he searched the sling bag on July 17…”

What then is the truth? Why did the investigating officer lie in the first place? What was he trying to cover up? Why should we believe him?

We must unravel the mystery that shrouds his death. But in no way can we reconcile to the possibility of a suicide. Why would a young man about to marry the day after, a young man happily looking forward to becoming a father for the first time, want to take his life!

The inquest into the death of Teoh Beng Hock has been totally discredited. It has turned out to be a sham inquest. Nobody is going to believe the coroner’s verdict.

It is Aliran’s stand that the inquest should be disbanded and discontinued; it should make way for the setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry.

Anything short of this would be a travesty of justice. Only a Royal Commission can determine what caused his death and who contributed to this tragic episode.

Someone who had suffered terribly in the Nazi death camp put it rightly: “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”

Yes, we couldn’t prevent the injustice that was meted out to Beng Hock but we can protest to express our outrage, to demand justice for the Teoh family; to mobilise support so that an injustice can be remedied.

* P. Ramakrishnan, the president of Aliran, was speaking at a Malaysians for Beng Hock forum in at the Han Chiang Shcool in Penang.

  1. #1 by PRU13 @ pollkad.com on Thursday, 25 November 2010 - 1:21 pm

    GOD wanted!

  2. #2 by undertaker888 on Thursday, 25 November 2010 - 1:32 pm

    Money Accepted Case Closed

  3. #3 by HJ Angus on Thursday, 25 November 2010 - 1:33 pm

    We can still reopen the case when a new government is voted into Putrajaya…

  4. #4 by k1980 on Thursday, 25 November 2010 - 2:33 pm

    //can still reopen the case when a new government is voted into Putrajaya…//

    So many cases to reopen— Altantu’s murder, Dollah’s Iraqi oil-for-food scam, mca’s RM12.5 billion PKFZ scam, the mammak’s RM100 billion disappearing trick…..The new govt will need to employ a million prosecutors to catch the BN monkeys

  5. #5 by monsterball on Thursday, 25 November 2010 - 3:06 pm

    And our famous lying PM promised Teoh’s family..the case will settle within one month….more than one year ago.
    This sickening PM now keep ignoring meeting Teoh’s family..leading them ..out of no choice to go to the streets to get his attention and their actions are twisted as supporters for PR at Galas by-election.
    It is nice to know…so many will not let the matter rest…and fade away.
    This is murder and few done at police stations or at their building…under a criminal branch…all victims died ….just like that..quite and forgotten.
    It is after 12th GE that Malaysians are demanding justices with no fear and with Internet…UMNO B is pushed to the wall and exposed.
    Back to Teoh Beng Hock’s case…Najib is one hell of a liar and sickening PM.

  6. #6 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Thursday, 25 November 2010 - 5:19 pm

    AG is sicko!

    Razak Musa is stupido!

    Najib is bluffo!

    Welcome to Malaysia-o!

  7. #7 by born in Malaya on Thursday, 25 November 2010 - 6:15 pm

    don’t walk into these umnos premises alone.

  8. #8 by Loh on Thursday, 25 November 2010 - 7:29 pm

    Mamakthir said that Anwar’s mata-lebam, the black eyes, were self inflicted. MACC is trying now to prove that Teoh Beng Hock inflicted himself. For self inflicted death it is called suicide. MACC now produces ‘suicide note’ to prove TBH mental state rather than rely on the evidence of pathologist Phornthip who had the interest of the dead person at heart. With due respect to psychology, the analysis could be useful to support pathological conclusion. It cannot be more reliable than pathology in explaining wounds that are inflicted by a third party based on the conclusion of professional pathologist who noticed the relevant evidences.

    For argument sake MACC is responsible for not preventing suicide as would in prison. Why MACC chose to insist that TBH inflicted himself when it is clear that TBH was just a witness on a case involving RM 2,000? Even if TBH was himself involved in RM 2,000 corruption, did he have to commit suicide? If he cared so much to commit suicide, he could not be that stupid to be involved in a RM 2,000 corruption said to have taken place. As he was not involved, why should TBH commit suicide for not being able to protect others? Surely MACC leaders have brain that works, at least once in a while. Why did MACC choose to drag the country to disrepute? No one outside Malaysia would ever believe that TBH was not the result of homicide. However bad Malaysians might air their grievances outside the country, the image of the nation is getting worse with the three cases hording the headlines. 1, the government uses all its resources to drag on the inquest just to prove that the victim inflicted himself to death for a corruption case involving RM 2,000 compared to the scandal involving RM 12 billion when the Minister of Transport was quick to declare investigation over as soon as he was appointed minister. 2. The person who was involved in consensual sex of sodomy was able to get preferential treatment over his counterpart who threatened the position of people in PutraJaya. Yet the judge was seen to be on mission to convict the partner. 3. The IGP considered case close when two persons were convicted for murdering a foreigner whom they had no personal dealings at all, and had no motive beyond undertaking as assignment. The IGP was not interested in knowing the motive of the murder, and the masterminds behind the killing.

    The officials of MACC clearly lack the sense of patriotism. But the Minister of defence Ahmad Zahid seems not to understand the meaning of the word patriotism.

  9. #9 by HJ Angus on Thursday, 25 November 2010 - 8:35 pm

    “lack the sense of patriotism”?
    Murder is a crime far removed from patriotism.
    And the system seems to be abetting the culprits.

  10. #10 by cemerlang on Thursday, 25 November 2010 - 8:59 pm

    Sorry seems to be the hardest word. People first. Performance now. All the rhetoric in the world. Teoh Beng Hock’s case will be filed under the letter X. And you all need a Mulder and a Scully to find out the truth which is out there. But there is still the big guy. Vengence is His.

  11. #11 by boh-liao on Saturday, 27 November 2010 - 7:18 pm

    Y would UmnoB b concerned with d death of a pendatang?

You must be logged in to post a comment.