Monday, July 25, 2011

Teoh’s death: Is government really sorry?

Between the reactions of Utusan Malaysia and Datuk Nazri Aziz to the Royal Commission of Inquiry on Teoh Beng Hock’s death, we can draw this common thread: there is no remorse on the part of the government for the loss of life.

Oh sure, Nazri offered his hearfelt apology after the release of the report on Thursday but that was the public relations puff. The hollowness of the apology was laid bare by what he said about Teoh’s “weak character” leading him to commit suicide.

The minister chose to misread the expert testimony by forensic psychiatrist Paul Mullen. Mullen said he did not find anything that would suggest that Teoh was suicidal or predisposed to suicide in custody. So where did Nazri pluck out this stuff about Teoh’s weak character contributing to his “suicide”.

This erroneous statement was in bad faith and calls into question how sincere the government is in offering its apologies to Teoh’s family.

The RCI’s findings on the role of the MACC in heaping unwarranted pressure on Teoh was pretty unequivocal. It is clear that the investigators were bent on getting a result for their superiors (who wanted to please their Umno masters). So they tortured a young man with interrogations tactics that have no place in any organisation.

If there was a villain in this sordid tale, it was certainly the MACC which opened this probe on the flimsiest of pretences and then behaved like thugs.

The RCI recommended for action to be taken against these bullies. But the mediocre Umno operators at Utusan Malaysia chose to absolve the MACC from blame, once again allowing their anti-Chinese bias to boil over by accusing the DAP of wrongdoing.

The Umno operators at Utusan (the people at that establishment are not journalists) also ventured that it was common practice for suicides to happen during interrogations.

Mind you, this is a paper owned by Umno and therefore is the government mouthpiece. It has deliberately misinterpreted the findings of the RCI just like Nazri did.

This is what we are left with in Malaysia, my dear fellow citizens. Lies, lies and more lies. There is no subtlety, their statements are just lies dressed up.

And that editor at The Star wonders why Malaysians are angry. Maybe he no longer cares if he is lied to or talked down to everyday by the government or politicians or government proxies.

But we cannot allow this sorry state of affairs to continue.

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