Monday, July 18, 2011
Kit Siang: Teoh’s ghost will linger after release of RCI report
KUALA LUMPUR, July 18 — DAP’s Lim Kit Siang today lauded the Cabinet’s decision to make public the Royal Commission of Inquiry’s (RCI) findings on Teoh Beng Hock’s death but warned that its release might not lay the two-year controversy to rest.
Lim Kit Siang: Delay reflects the efficiency and competency of the government. — TMI pic
The senior politician reminded the government that it was still yet to be determined if the RCI had successfully unearthed the mysterious circumstances that led to Teoh’s fatal fall in 2009.
“We do not know if the RCI was able to get to that depth, to the root of the matter . . . to determine the details behind Teoh’s death and whether it is acceptable. We will still need to study it,” he told The Malaysian Insider.
On the announcement by Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz that the report would be made public, Lim said that while this was a positive development, the report should have been released simultaneously to the public when it was presented to Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin last month.
“If this (announcement) is true, it is a positive step,” he said. “There is no justification for withholding the report from the public.
“But they should have a practice whereby arrangements are made when RCI reports are presented to the Agong, they are also released simultaneously to the public.”
Lim, along with numerous opposition leaders, has been pressuring the Cabinet to release the report by the RCI, which was tasked to unravel the mysterious circumstances behind Teoh’s death and to look into the investigation methods of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
“This is for the principles of accountability and good governance,” said Lim. “It is the people’s right to know what belongs to them.
“This delay, it reflects the efficiency and competency of the government . . . after more than three weeks, the matter is still shrouded in uncertainty.”
Federal Court Judge Tan Sri James Foong, who headed the five-man panel on the RCI, presented the 124-page report to the King on June 22.
The report documents the proceedings of the inquiry, including testimonies from 70 witnesses and recommendations to the MACC.
The Star newspaper today quoted Nazri, a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, as saying that he presented the report to the Cabinet on July 6 and it had decided to release it to the public.
Thirty-year-old DAP political aide Teoh was found dead on July 16, 2009, on the fifth-floor corridor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam after he was questioned overnight by MACC officers at their then Selangor headquarters on the 14th floor.
The coroner’s inquest in January returned an “open verdict”, ruling out both suicide and homicide.
The government was then forced to establish the RCI, which first met in February, with two terms of reference: to probe how Teoh fell to his death, and to look into MACC’s investigative methods.