Friday, July 17, 2009

Pakatan stonewalled over Teoh’s death

SHAH ALAM, July 17 — Despite their demands, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders today failed to get any answers about the death of Teoh Beng Hock from Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers at their Selangor headquarters at Plaza Masalam here.

A protester continues his protest even as he is herded into the police van. — Pictures by Choo Choy May

PR top guns Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng had gone to MACC office on the 14th floor where Teoh may have either fallen or jumped to his death early yesterday morning.

Sources said MACC officials remained tight-lipped, saying they were under instructions not to say anything. Kit Siang called the meeting a waste of time.

Outside, however, an angry crowd shouting "Siasat, Siasat" drove home the point that the conduct of the MACC and the death of the 30-year-old political aide to DAP’s Ean Yong Hian Wah was simply unacceptable.

Teoh was taken in for questioning by the MACC on Wednesday evening. The agency said he was freed a little after 3.45am but his body was later found sprawled on the roof of a five-storey building next door at 1.30pm yesterday

Despite police roadblocks, several hundred protesters including a dozen PR MPs and state assemblymen managed to gather outside the building.

Repeated police warnings failed to deter the crowd which clashed with police dressed in riot gear several times.

Police officers dragging away one of the protesters at the MACC office today.

At least two people were injured during the fracas, including an assistant to state executive councillor Elizabeth Wong, when the crowd went head to head with police for several minutes.

Wong was seen arguing with the authorities while at least two other protesters were seen being dragged away roughly right in front of reporters and photographers.

Shah Alam police chief ACP Mohd Nor Azam Jamaluddin was seen twice appealing to PR leaders to ask the crowd to disperse but to no avail as the crowd continued to jeer.

The protesters later staged a sit-in at the entrance of the building, waiting for PR leaders to come out.

Police were seen preparing to move in against the group which included elected representatives Tony Pua, Fong Kui Loon, Teo Nie Ching, Tan Kok Wai and Elizabeth Wong while reporters were instructed to leave the area.

However, the arrival of Selangor Police Chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar stopped the tense situation from becoming worse. Khalid asked the MPs, state lawmakers and other protesters just to move to the side and not block the entrance of the building and they immediately complied.

At least seven protesters were arrested in the melee. They included Kapar MP S. Manikavasagam and Selangor exco member Dr Xavier Jayakumar. All seven were released by 6pm.

Anwar and Kit Siang have called for the setting up a royal commission to investigate Teoh’s death.

Later at a press conference, Khalid said his administration would not allow its officials to be investigated outside their offices.

“We will prepare a legal team to assist our officials under investigation.”

He said the state government would assist and support family members of Teoh, including helping in the funeral arrangements.

“I have directed the deputy state secretary to meet with family members.”

He also called for a royal commission of enquiry to clear the MACC’s image.

"The MACC's image has been tarnished. People want to what happened,” he said.

By Neville Spykerman
17th July 2009

3 comments:

Gerry Perry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gerry Perry said...

he was such a handsome young man. so sorry for the lost.

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