Friday, July 17, 2009

TI-M: Teoh's Death Warrants Independent Inquiry on MACC

Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) wishes to convey its deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family and bride-to-be of Teoh Beng Hock for their great loss and bereavement at his tragic and senseless death.

TI-M expresses extreme shock and concern over the death of Teoh Beng Hock, political secretary of Selangor state executive councilor YB Ean Yong Hian Wah, which occurred under suspicious circumstances in connection with his interrogation by the MACC. Teoh's death highlights serious questions in the conduct of the investigation and the circumstances of his death. Further, the interrogation relating to several assemblymen of the current Selangor government while ignoring cases involving the previous state administration, gives the impression of selective investigation and political harassment.

This tragedy can only tarnish the MACC, that despite its new structure and mandate, it has not discharged its duties in a manner to inspire the public's confidence in its independence and professionalism. Since the MACC replaced the ACA, the public perception is that there have been few or no improvements.

Therefore, the matter warrants an independent enquiry not just on the death of Teoh but also on how the MACC discharges its duties.

While the circumstances pertaining to his death is still unknown, we hope both the Polis Di Raja Malaysia and MACC investigate his death in a professional and independent manner without fear or favor and with full transparency, to get to the truth. This will greatly help to reverse the deteriorating trend in perception by the Rakyat and the international business community of these two institutions in the country.

Furthermore, surely the distinguished persons serving in the watchdog advisory panels and committees of MACC to bring to it accountability and credibility must be concerned that not much is done to change the perception of MACC as only answering to politicians. They must make the executive arm of the MACC accountable. The tragedy of Teoh’s death is just one of the symptoms that reflect continuing failings and weaknesses. Nothing has changed so far!

If the watchdog advisory panels and committees cannot influence the MACC for the better, they should consider resigning rather than participating in a charade of independence and impartiality.

Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M)
Datuk Paul Low, President
Dr. Loi Kheng Min, Secretary-General

No comments: