Monday, July 18, 2011

In memory of Teoh Beng Hock

SERI KEMBANGAN: The cute little toddler played and ran about, bringing a tinge of a smile to the crowd of serious-looking adults around him.

Clad in an orange shirt, the 17-month-old Teoh Er Jia’s cheerful disposition bore a stark contrast to the tears of his family and the sombre mood of some 400 people who gathered to commemorate the anniversary of his father’s death.

Today, marked the second year of Teoh Beng Hock’s death.

Last night, a memorial function in his honour was held at the Seri Kembangan multipurpose hall, attended by Teoh’s former employer, Selangor exco Ean Yong Hian Wah and other DAP leaders.

Throughout the event, Er Jia was the centre of attention as his mother Soh Cher Wei received praises and support from the people.

At one point, the boy was seen reaching out to a photograph of Teoh, which was put beside his grandparents Teoh Leng Hwee and Cheong Siew Hwa.

Er Jia looked delighted when he was presented with a huge plush toy, shaped in a character from popular iPhone game Angry Birds, and was grabbing at the toy when presented to him on stage by DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang.

The toy supposedly represented the “angry” feelings of the people towards Teoh’s death.

Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching earlier read out a heart-wrenching letter during which Teoh’s family was seen wiping away tears as Teo “told” the deceased of the latest developments that had taken place since his death.

“Er Jia is now almost two-years-old. He is a very active child, and he looks like you. It’s been two long years since we have seen you…

“These days it’s been very difficult. You were really good at choosing a wife. Soh is very good. She doesn’t like to talk much and she always tells us she is alright, but it’s not so easy. It’s been very very painful. She is not in very good health, and Lee Lan (Teoh’s youngest sister) is always worried.

“She always tells me that if you were still here it would be good because Soh would have someone to rely on. I’m sure Soh also feels the same way,” she said.

She also said that Teoh’s brother Meng Kee was now married with a child, but “in our happiness for him, we were also sad. Why were you not here then?”

Teo added that the nation had changed much since his death.

“If you look down from heaven do you feel that Malaysia has become better or worse? Have

Malaysians come together or grown further apart from each other? I don’ know.”

Referring to last Saturday’s Bersih 2.0 rally, the MP said Teoh would have definitely been a part of it if he was still alive.

“I remember how we use to discuss about changing the country. Last Saturday, we fought through tear gas. I was the cowardly one. If you were still here, you would be among them. You would have been those brave ones who uses action, rather than words. You would have seen on that day on the faces of these Malaysians, the future of the country. Please continue to guard us from above.”

Teo also sang a song in tribute to Teoh and recited a poem while a group of actors wearing black lay down on the floor to form the word “TRUTH”.

Sister: We need closure

During her speech, Lee Lan asked why the government had still failed to help the family find closure even after two years.

“Teoh are you here with us today? We all miss you very much. Time passes, it has already been two years. It feels just like yesterday that I saw you happily holding Soh’s hand when you went with her to find a wedding dress. Everyone was so happy and were looking forward to your wedding,” she said amidst sobs.

“I want to tell you today. I want truth… please help us point to the murderer. Why did you die? We all know you have been wronged. We are waiting for some justice.

“Why is it so hard (to get to the truth)? Tell me what should I do? What have I not done?” she cried.

In a message to the family of the late Selangor customs assistant director Ahmad Sarbaini Mohamed, who also died while in MACC custody, Lee Lan said: “If you step out, I will accompany you. I will walk the entire nation with you to help fight for the truth. To tell everyone how unjust the government is. Join me as I hope I’m not alone here.”

She asked why the Royal Commission of Inquiry had yet to reveal its report. “Why do they tell us that they’re doing this for the rakyat, but all we’re hearing is just deafening silence?”

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