Saturday, July 18, 2009

Kit Siang: Najib will lose credibility if no RCI into TBH's first death in MACC custody

Najib will lose credibility and wipe out all the popularity ratings he clawed back from 45% to 65% just before end of his First Hundred Days if there is no Royal Commission of Inquiry into Teoh Beng Hock’s extraordinary plunge to death from 14th floor MACC hqrs

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should be forewarned that he will lose credibility and wipe out all the popularity ratings he clawed back from 45% to 65% just before the end of his First Hundred Days if there is no Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into Teoh Beng Hock’s extraordinary plunge to death from 14th floor Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters in Shah Alam on Thursday.

Any refusal to establish a RCI into the unusual death of the political secretary to DAP Selangor State Exco and Seri Kembangan Assemblyman, Ean Yong Hian Wah, will be regarded by a very skeptical public that the Najib administration is not prepared to come clean in the first case of death in MACC custody, occurring on the 105th day of Najib as Prime Minister.

After the scandal of the Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s “black eye” while in police custody in 1998, which Anwar was accused of having inflicted on himself, there is just no public trust that the police can be depended on its independence, impartiality and professionalism when dealing with politically high-profile cases – like the present Teoh case.

Who will believe Teoh, 30 would commit suicide by leaping from the 14th floor of MACC headquarters when he is to register his marriage to teacher Soh Cher Wei, 28 the next day and that Soh is two-month pregnant?

Now, taxi-driver Teoh Leong Hui and his wife Cheong Sui Hua, 56, have lost a beloved son, Soh a husband and the unborn child a father! Who is responsible for such a despicable and dastardly deed?

Kajang municipal councillor Tan Boon Hwa, had recounted his ordeal when questioned as a witness by the MACC, how two MACC officers used questionable interrogation techniques in trying to extract false confession from him, pressuring him to deny that he supplied 1,500 national flags for a Merdeka function at the Sri Kembangan state constituency.

During the interrogation, the MACC officers used the 'good cop, bad cop' technique; initially being polite but later switching to verbally abusing him and making him to stand for four hours between 10pm to 2am.

Tan was questioned on the same day Teoh Beng Hock was also interrogated by MACC.

Tan said he was threatened with physical violence, with one officer pointing to his forehead and allegedly saying, "You don't lie. This is my place. I can hit you. Believe me!"

During interrogations, he said other officers would randomly walk into the room to mock his poor command of Bahasa Malaysia and used derogatory terms such as "Cina bodoh" (stupid Chinese) and asked him if he was a Chinese citizen.

The worst intimidation, Tan said, were threats to his family which he described as "mental torture".

Tan said:"They said that if I don't 'tell the truth', they will take away my wife and there would be no one to care for the children. But I did not give in."

When he was released the following day (Thursday) at about 1.30pm, Tan said he was asked by MACC staff not to make an issue over their interrogation technique.

But Tan had to speak up after the shocking and mysterious death of Teoh.

What Tan said has the shocking ring of truth as all those who had been subjected to rough, strong-armed and even physically violent interrogation by police and other enforcement agencies can testify. But why has MACC become a new monster on the Malaysian national scene, acting completely outside the law?

What did Teoh go through during the interrogation by MACC officers if Tan had to go through such rough and Gestapo-type of interrogation techniques when both are just witnesses and not suspects?

Where did MACC officers get the authority to use such Gestapo interrogation techniques?

Will the two MACC officers who subjected Tan to subject interrogation be suspended immediately pending investigations?

Will the MACC officers who subjected Teoh to the unusual interrogation for a witness, as to be questioned from 6 pm on Wednesday to 3.45 am on Thursday (on MACC’s own account) be suspended immediately for gross abuse of powers, apart from the actual circumstances leading to the mysterious plunge to death from 14th MACC hqrs?

Will the MACC Chief Commissioner, Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan resign in shame at such MACC scandals?

MACC is on trial. Police is on trial. Most importantly, Najib’s new premiership is on trial.


Lim Kit Siang
DAP Parliamentary Leader and MP for Ipoh Timor
18th July 2009

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