Saturday, July 25, 2009

JPs: Include cause of death in terms of reference

PETALING JAYA: The cause of death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock should be included in the terms of reference of the Royal Commission of Inquiry to be formed to look into the investigative procedures of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

“What is of paramount concern to the deceased’s family and the country at large is the cause of death and nothing else,” the National Council of Justices of the Peace Malaysia secretary-general Datuk M. Rama lingam said in a statement Friday.

He also said the Government’s decision to hold an inquest by a coroner under the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code may not have the force and efficacy of a royal commission, which has wide-ranging powers.

A royal commission, he said, would include recommendations of criminal charges or otherwise against any person or body with far-reaching consequences.

Meanwhile, PAS Youth chief Nasrudin Hassan At-Tantawi said: “We urge Suhakam (the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia) to intervene and persuade the Govern- ment to conduct a detailed investigation into Teoh’s death.”

PKR Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin, who was with Nasrudin to hand over a memorandum to Suhakam here yesterday, said the inquest would not be effective as the public had a negative perception of the judiciary and asked that Suhakam come up with its own commission to look into the case.

Suhakam commissioners Datuk N. Siva Subramaniam and Datuk Dr Abdul Monir Yaacob said they would forward the memorandum for consideration at its meeting on Thurs- day.

In another development, Asean Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli) centre of policy studies chairman Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam said the terms of reference for the Royal Commission of Inquiry should include the circumstances leading to Teoh’s death and the environment surrounding the site of tragedy.

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