Under fire, sister insists mystery note not by Teoh

By Boo Su-Lyn
The Malaysian Insider
May 09, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, May 9 — Despite being pressured by a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) lawyer on the contents of a mystery note, Teoh Beng Hock’s sister Lee Lan insisted before a royal panel today that her brother did not write it even as she broke down in tears at one point in her testimony.

Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah bombarded her with a series of questions on the mystery note and whether she could recognise her brother’s handwriting, until she said: “I want to know the correct and the exact truth (behind Beng Hock’s death). This is the reason we requested for this commission.”

“During the inquest, when they showed such a note, immediately we discussed and said this note does not belong to Teoh Beng Hock,” said Lee Lan at the inquiry today, as the RCI nears the conclusion of its testimony collection.

“This could not be written by Teoh Beng Hock because (there was) no need for him to write such notes,” she added.

The mystery note stirred a controversy when it surfaced after the Attorney-General’s Chambers tendered it as evidence last August — some 10 months after the start of the coroner’s inquest into Beng Hock’s death.

The accuracy of the note’s court translation was also disputed after official interpreter Ting Chin Kin admitted to using free online service Google Translate to do the job.

Beng Hock was found dead on July 16, 2009 on the fifth-floor corridor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam after he was questioned overnight by MACC officers at their then-Selangor headquarters on the 14th floor.

Beng Hock, 30, was the political secretary to Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, who is also the Seri Kembangan assemblyman from the DAP, at the time of his death.

The graftbusters were investigating a claim that his boss was abusing state funds.

Lee Lan, who was a year younger than Beng Hock and is the youngest in the family, wept when she talked about her brother’s text message to her telling her that he was getting married.

“‘Congratulations’,” she began as she related the text message, before breaking down.

“‘You are becoming an auntie’,” she continued, with a tissue in her hand.

Beng Hock’s fiancée, Soh Cher Wei, testified at the RCI today that they had planned to wed in October 2009, after she discovered early July 2009 that she was pregnant.

Lee Lan, 31, also said she could not recognise the Chinese handwriting on the mystery note when she was shown the original at the inquiry today.

“It doesn’t look like my elder brother’s,” she said, but added that she has not seen many samples of her brother’s handwriting.

“Can you recognise Beng Hock’s handwriting in Chinese? Why are we going round and round?” Shafee asked.

“I could not recognise precisely if (it) belongs to Teoh Beng Hock,” answered Lee Lan.

Lee Lan also pointed out that her other brother Meng Kee could not recognise the handwriting on the mystery note when their lawyer Gobind Singh Deo showed it to them at the coroner’s inquest.

“(He said) it appears it is not similar (to Teoh’s handwriting),” she said.

Government handwriting expert Wong Kong Yong has testified that Beng Hock’s initials in the mystery note found in his bag had important differences with the initials in his statement to the MACC.

Wong said he discovered differences in the first and end strokes of the “BH” initials, which he said indicated one’s handwriting style, that were found in both documents.

Lee Lan, dressed in a black striped blouse, also said today that her brother did not suffer any illnesses.

“My elder brother is a very healthy person. He was never admitted to a hospital,” she said.

The young woman said Beng Hock was a very caring person.

“He’s carefree and optimistic,” said Lee Lan, adding that nothing annoyed him.

Lee Lan was the 69th witness to testify at the inquiry today that is expected to wrap up its witness testimonies tomorrow with psychiatrists on the witness stand.

The psychiatrists had interviewed Beng Hock’s family members to determine the DAP political aide’s personality and state of mind.

Beng Hock’s family pulled out of the RCI proceedings when they first started last February after the royal panel decided to continue the inquiry, despite a proposed judicial review over the appointment of deputy public prosecutors (DPPs) as conducting officers.

The family believed that the Attorney-General was seeking to revise the coroner’s “open verdict” to one of suicide and claimed that this would lead to bias by the DPPs.

The coroner’s inquest had ruled out both suicide and homicide in Teoh’s fatal plunge.

The RCI is to submit its report to the King by June 25 after it was granted an extension of its original April 25 deadline.

“You and your family are looking forward to the result of the commission’s findings?” asked Shafee today.

“We do not know what happened previously; then straight away jump to conclusion. It’s not fair to us,” said Lee Lan.

  1. #1 by negarawan on Monday, 9 May 2011 - 11:01 pm

    At the end of the day, the RCI will say whatever UMNO wants them to say. Period

  2. #2 by on cheng on Tuesday, 10 May 2011 - 10:43 am

    Malaysia Association of Corrupted Crooks ?

  3. #3 by Bunch of Suckers on Tuesday, 10 May 2011 - 10:49 am

    It’s just a show to the public and the world! At the end, the verdict is expected! Teoh’s family would be fully disappointed!

    Suckers never feel shame nor remorse, they continue to bluff off at whatever murdering cases… This is the way to hang on powers of governing with incompetency…

  4. #4 by Loh on Tuesday, 10 May 2011 - 1:25 pm

    ///“This could not be written by Teoh Beng Hock because (there was) no need for him to write such notes,” she added.///

    That precisely is the point. MACC took nine months to produce a note, and that note ends with the wood goodbye. The argument then is if the note is not sent, goodbye carries the meaning MACC claims to be the period of a suicide note. MACC would argue further that if the note is not meant as a suicide note, why did not TBH send the message by phone. But if it was a suicide note, would it be more important for TBH to tell his wife, and say that a wrong needs to be avenged. MACC official said that to defend the honour of DAP and his boss TBN chose to jump. MCA Chinese ministers are charged for much larger issue and they have still not jumped, why should TBH jumped as a witness? TBH knows Chinese culture, and death as the ultimate price would only be paid for more important issues than for proving MACC allegation wrong. Indeed MACC has no honour, and other than its power, its words are not highly regarded.

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