Friday, July 17, 2009

Last man to see Teoh: MACC threatened me

Kajang municipal councillor Tan Boon Hwa, who was grilled by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission on Wednesday, today shed some light on the corruption watchdog's questionable interrogation techniques.

Tan (right) said that the two officers who questioned him tried 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, Tan said the 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, the political secretary to Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hean Wah, was also interrogated by MACC.

According to Tan, 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".

"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," said Tan, during a press conference at the Selangor state secretariat today.

He was allowed to sleep on the carpeted floor and the interrogation continued the following morning.

Teoh seen at pantry

To top it off, when he was released the following day at about 1.30pm, Tan said he was asked by MACC staff not to make an issue over their interrogation technique.

"But now, I cannot keep quiet because a life has been lost," said Tan, in reference to the mysterious death of Teoh.

Teoh, 30, was found dead yesterday on the fifth floor balcony of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam, nine floors below the Selangor MACC office, where he and Tan were questioned.

Tan said that after he was told by the MACC officers that he was free to go, he was unaware of the fact that Teoh's body had been discovered.

He subsequently left the building.

Tan said the MACC raided his house on Wednesday evening without a warrant. He was then taken to the Selangor MACC headquarters at about 9pm.

When asked, Tan said he did not know that Teoh was in the same building when he was brought there. The duo met only when Tan woke up at about 6am the following day while on the way to the toilet.

"He was in the pantry. I greeted him, but he replied only with a 'Umh'. But when I came out of the toilet, he was gone. He did look a little tired," said Tan.

The MACC says that Teoh was released at 3.45am yesterday but he chose to "stay back and sleep on a couch, where he was last seen at 6am."

No comments: