Commission must be neutral

Brave New World
By Azmi Sharom
The Star
Thursday February 24, 2011

To ensure that there is no conflict of interest, the conducting officers must be totally unbiased.

THE family of Teoh Beng Hock has decided that they do not want to take part in the Commission of Inquiry which was set up to investigate his death.

This act has been criticised by some quarters as being a political ploy designed to delay the proceedings. I beg to disagree.

The family has some very compelling reasons for doing what they did.

Their main complaint is that there is currently an appeal in the courts regarding the findings of the inquest.

To refresh your memory, the inquest that was formed to investigate the cause of Teoh’s death concluded with an open verdict.

The magistrate was unable to come to a conclusion whether Teoh was killed or whether he committed suicide.

The Attorney-General’s Chambers has decided to appeal to the High Court.

They believe that the cause of death was suicide and they want a declaration from the court to that effect.

The family want this High Court case to either be settled first or dropped by the A-G before the CI continues.

This is a reasonable request for what happens if the CI comes up with one decision and the High Court another?

They are also unhappy that the conducting officers are from the A-G’s Chambers.

The conducting officers are the people with the responsibility of conducting the inquiry.

They organise proceedings, for example by drawing the witness list.

It is odd indeed that the people who are conducting the proceedings of the CI are from the very same body (the A-G’s Chambers) who are calling for a finding of suicide.

It would appear therefore, that there is clearly a conflict of interest here. They are working for the CI, which is supposed to be independent and neutral, yet they are also from an organisation that has made up their mind as to the cause of death.

I am not for one moment questioning the integrity of the individuals who make up the CI.

However, the CI must be impeccable in its neutrality and, more importantly, it must appear to be impeccable.
The way it stands, this neutrality can be cast in doubt.

Furthermore, it must be remembered that the A-G’s Chambers was involved in the initial investigation.

For example, the Investigating Officer revealed the so-called suicide note so late in the inquest proceedings because he was waiting for the green light from the Deputy Public Prosecutor (who is part of the A-G’s Chambers).

The DPP and thus the A-G’s Chambers had a supervisory role in the original investigation, so how can their staff play such a prominent role in the CI.

In order to ensure that there is no conflict of interest, the conducting officers must be totally unbiased.

If it means getting them from an independent source, so be it.

There is after all precedence for this.

In the Commission formed to investigate former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s black eye incident, an independent party was chosen to lead the conducting officers.

The CI has to distance itself from any possibility of impropriety.

This was not done and thus casts doubts on the whole procedure.

This is the reason why the family and later the state of Selangor decided to pull out.

It is unfortunate that there are accusations that the family had done what it did under external pressure.

They have been through the mill for the past two years or so.

They have stated time and time again that all they want is justice.

It is perfectly within their right to withdraw, and it is perfectly understandable.

  1. #1 by Taxidriver on Thursday, 24 February 2011 - 7:14 pm

    TBH’s family will have nothing to do in a situation where the judge is also the police. They cannot be blamed for pulling out of CIastri Lempicka

  2. #2 by Taxidriver on Thursday, 24 February 2011 - 7:17 pm

    omg! replace the last two words with Comission of Inquiry-thanks

  3. #3 by yhsiew on Thursday, 24 February 2011 - 8:00 pm

    It is a well-known fact that the Malaysian legal justice system is chaotic and manipulated. Not many people, including foreigners, would trust our system.

  4. #4 by Loh on Thursday, 24 February 2011 - 9:52 pm

    Najib said TBH family was misled into leaving the RCI. They were first misled by the government into believing that the government would leave no stone unturned to get to the truth but found that the truth was actually buried deep inside the rock. Najib certainly realizes that a declaration by the high court regarding the outcome of the inquest different from the open verdict could not constitute the truth. If Najib believed that the RCI would give the answer after a more thorough investigation, he should have directed the AG to withdraw the case of appeal on the open verdict. Najib should not pretend that the Attorney General is independent in this particular issue. The decision by the AG to appeal the open verdict is political in nature. The AG should have requested the police to investigate the case as murder since the possibility of crime had not been ruled out based on the open verdict. Instead, the AG chose to seek a verdict he would be happy at which would be that MACC has no case to answer. In allowing AG to file for reveal, Najib goes along with the wishes of the AG.

    Najib promotes 1Malaysia but he refuses to accept that it means Malaysians have equal share under the Malaysian sun, and all Malaysians are equal. If 1Malaysia is not Malaysia for all Malaysians, then 1Malaysia would only mean Malaysia for 1 race and 1 religion like UMNO has been practicing.

    Najib said that NEM deviates from NEP, and yet the only departure from NEP was reinstated the moment Ibrahim of Perkasa, who was supported by Mamakthir, protested. So Najib can’t even act without the approval of Mamakthir. Is Najib PM or Mamakthir? Or maybe even Ibrahim Ali is more powerful in deciding government policy.

    The above shows Najib not only flip-flop. It might be he planned his flip while asking other to create the flop. How can a PM stays on when he has to continuously retreat from an announced position? Has he no pride? Has he to bow to UMNO party politics at the expense of national interest?

  5. #5 by Cinapek on Friday, 25 February 2011 - 1:08 am

    To begin with the RCI did its own image a great deal of harm when it initially omitted Dr Porntip from the witness’ list and only when under pressure it relented and invited her. She was a key witness and would be able to testify in great detail her views on TBH’s cause of death. How could the RCI could have even ignored her in the first place?

  6. #6 by undertaker888 on Friday, 25 February 2011 - 8:09 am

    paying a Royal Commission for Idiots. that’s what it is all about. when it involves patahi, you will know they are paying him a royal commission for his sinful verdict. they can declare what they want, but the people know too well. this is another event that makes their long overstay in office go tick tock tick tock….times up. Run dogs, run.

  7. #7 by dagen on Friday, 25 February 2011 - 9:16 am

    Its black. Its white.
    (swing head this way)(swing head that way)
    Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

    Or Pek e kong ka liao.

    Niah eh!

    Patail thought he too could do a MJ on the people in beng hock’s death inquiry.

    Hey. MJ made his girls swing their heads as a clear sign of colour change. And patail’s men. Wot? They are expected to switch from their original language of homicide to the language of suicide with just the blink of an eye by the AG?

    Come on. How can they? Unless (ah I forgot) they have forked tongue like this one “W”.

    There. There. QED!

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