Teoh Beng Hock and Sarbaini – victims of MACC

3. Continued degradation instead of restoration of independence, professionalism and integrity of key national institutions in the country.

(a) Great flaw of TBH RCI report – failure to affix responsibility for TBH’s death on MACC despite evidence galore

The Teoh Beng Hock Royal Commission of Inquiry did not contribute to the restoration of public confidence in the independence, professionalism and integrity of key national institutions but their continued degradation.

A great flaw of the Teoh Beng Hock (TBH) Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) report is its failure to affix responsibility for Beng Hock’s death on the MACC although there were evidence galore before the RCI proceedings.

It was not just persons, namely various MACC officers led by Hishammuddin Hashim the then Selangor MACC Deputy Director and the “mastermind” of the illegal and massive 33-officer MACC “operation”, who must bear responsibility for Beng Hock’s death but also the institution of MACC as well.

The RCI report only made oblique references to the MACC’s role and responsibility for Beng Hock’s death without going for the jugular to pinpoint directly to MACC’s liability and responsibility.

This is most unsatisfactory and an abdication of responsibility of the TBH RCI on its specific term of reference “to enquire into the death of Teoh Beng Hock and the circumstances surrounding and contributing to his death”.

For instance, Para 336 of the TBH RCI said: “336: We are of the view that the death of TBH should not be in vain and all attempts should be made to improve the functioning of the MACC and the administration of criminal justice in the country as a result of our inquiry into the workings of the MACC. The evidence adduced showed that the MACC officers were prepared to go to great lengths to lie.”

The scandal of Beng Hock’s tragic death at the MACC headquarters in Shah Alam on July 16, 2009 is not just MACC officers “were prepared to go to great lengths to lie” but the MACC as an institution which went to great lengths to participate in a conspiracy of silence and lies to pervert the course of justice to “cover up” the actual causes and circumstances of Beng Hock’s death.

The TBH RCI pinpointed Hishammuddin Hashim as “the seniormost officer who was in overall command of the operation” who was “clearly accountable” for what transpired to TBH at the Selangor MACC – causing his death.

But at present, Hishammuddin has remained scotfree as full-fledged senior MACC officer who has merely been taken off investigation duties when he and other MACC officers should be charged for causing Beng Hock’s death.

Beng Hock’s death would would been “in vain” if firstly, his killers remain free and unpunished; and secondly, the MACC is not held responsible and liable for his death and instead allowed to “go to great lengths” to participate in a “cover-up” of the actual causes and circumstances of Beng Hock’s death at the TBH RCI, with MACC officers telling “lies after lies” at the RCI.

When there should be condemnatory strictures, the TBH RCI merely observed weakly that instead of “being impartial in assisting us to arrive at the truth of what happened to TBH on that fateful night of the 15th and early morning of the 16th”, MACC took sides with the MACC Counsel Datuk Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah defending the MACC officers called to testify.

The Bar Council, in its submission to the TBH RCI was more direct and straightforward in its criticism of the MACC’s role at the royal commission of inquiry. It said:

“One would have expected the MACC to have led the charge in this inquiry to ascertain the truth and thereby restore its credibility. Instead, it failed to draw a distinction between itself and the officers, and chose to align itself with its officers who may have been involved, responsible and/or privy to the cause of death of Teoh Beng Hock. The absence of separate representation is telling. MACC as a whole chose to defend the actions of its officers rather than assist in the investigation. The MACC adopted the posture of a defendant throughout the course of this inquiry.

“The Commission has had to deal with witnesses primarily from MACC who have either been evasive, misleading and/or lied. It has also been shown that the MACC had suppressed, tampered with and destroyed evidence.

“In the circumstances, it has been a difficult task to piece together the evidence to establish what actually transpired at Plaza Masalam leading to Teoh Beng Hock’s death.”

Why did the TBH RCI shirk from its responsibility to censure the MACC for its role at the RCI which “suppressed, tampered with and destroyed evidence”, frustrating and perverting the course of justice at the TBH RCI to find out the actual causes and circumstances of Beng Hock’s death?

The Bar Council in its submission said the RCI provided “classic evidence of the saying that an institution is only as good as its people.” It continued:

“ It is important that the officers of MACC tasked with preventing, detecting and eradicating corruption possess the qualities of integrity, independence and intelligence, what may be conveniently referred to as the three “I”s.

“Whilst the Commissioners have recognised that MACC as an institution must be preserved and its image, reputation and functioning enhanced, it must also be recognised that this can only be brought about if the people entrusted with the powers of the institution were brought to task for abuse.”

The TBH RCI has ended without MACC and MACC officers being held to task for their ultimate abuse – causing Beng Hock’s death while under the control, care and custody of MACC!

A “golden opportunity” was missed by the RCI to examine why the MACC is “world’s apart in terms of repute, public perception and functioning” from Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) – when MACC is supposed to be modelled after the ICAC!

Based on the TBH RCI proceedings, the Bar Council recommended that the RCI should make a finding that the MACC and its officers should be held responsible for TBH’s death and that they had also perpetrated a cover up on the causes and circumstances of TBH’s death at the RCI.

If Beng Hock’s death is not to be in vain, both MACC and its officers must be held responsible for his death and cover-up.

Justice for Beng Hock demands that there should be a re-opening of inquiry into Beng Hock’s killers by a high-level special investigations squad, to pursue the new evidence and leads provided by the RCI and to break the conspiracy of “blue wall of silence”of MACC officers to pinpoint and to bring to book Beng Hock’s killers.

Although a RCI has not proved to be efficacious and effective in ensuring justice, calls for its establishment will continue to be made if it remains the only recourse open to the aggrieved parties.

This is why the family of the second case of mysterious MACC death from height, Ahmad Sarbaini Mohamad, has rejected the coroner’s “death by misadventure” verdict on his death and is demanding a RCI.

There are many suspicious circumstances about the 56-year-old Customs assistant director Sarbaini falling nine metres to his death at the MACC KL Office on April 6, especially why the CCTV footage during Sarbaini’s visit to the MACC Kuala Lumpur office was intentionally erased with testimony by a police expert from the police forensics labs in Cheras that the CCTV (footage) had been tampered with by someone skilled.

I call on all MPs to support this call and urge the Prime Minister to announce such a RCI into Sarbaini’s death in the winding-up of the debate.

Speech (4) in Parliament on the 2012 Budget on Monday 17th October 2011

  1. #1 by monsterball on Monday, 17 October 2011 - 5:31 pm

    Teoh Beng Hock is the most talked about person in the history of all mysterious deaths in Malaysia.
    The tireless efforts of Malaysians seeking for real justice and truths…much to be admired.
    Depend on Najib to move a finger and act as a caring and sharing PM….you will stay forever disappointed.

  2. #2 by country for good malaysian on Monday, 17 October 2011 - 5:57 pm

    Justice must be found and truth must prevail no matter how hard or long this may take.

  3. #3 by eh on Monday, 17 October 2011 - 7:47 pm

    Shameful…shameful..shameful…evidence tampered with..people in high office in cahoot to suppress and pervert justice…it’s time for renew / reform…brave country (wo)men…

  4. #4 by cskok8 on Tuesday, 18 October 2011 - 4:11 pm

    Now they want to put CCTV into all interrogation rooms. Whats the use when they can be switched off at will and nobody questions why???

  5. #5 by alan newman on Saturday, 22 October 2011 - 3:32 pm

    In some countries Najib would be arrested & impeached for treason…

    Malaysian PM Najib’s shelter of wildly & uncontrollably corrupt Taib Mahmud is collusion, duplicity & deception of his people. A betrayal of trust placed in a PM. This is tantamount to Treason – violating one’s allegiance to one’s country. In some countries he would be arrested and impeached.

    Abolish MACC and start a new Commission chaired jointly by BN & Opposition PR/PKR – that’s democracy!

    UMNO & BN, time to do soul-searching, repent before it is too late. The same warning goes to all the Umno and Taib cronies; Mahathir, included. Look at Gaddafi this week, and those before him. Retribution always comes around.

    Alan Newman, NZ (world’s top democratic & non-corrupt Country)

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