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Royal commission, inquest will be according to law: Najib

BANGI, 24 July 2009: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the formation of a royal commission and an inquest on the death of Teoh Beng Hock, the political aide to a Selangor executive councillor, will be based on existing law.

He said the law concerning the death of an individual was provided for under the Criminal Procedure Code, while the royal commission also had its own act.

He said Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail would issue a statement and detailed explanation on the matter today.

“We have to abide by the law. Don’t exploit the incident,” he told reporters after launching the National Green Technology Policy here today.

He said this when asked to comment on the call by several groups for the formation of the royal commission to study the procedures concerning interrogation applied by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), as well as determine the cause of Teoh’s death.

On Wednesday, Najib announced that a magistrate would lead an inquest next week to determine the cause of Teoh’s death, while a special royal commission would study the procedures for interrogation by the MACC.

Najib said the main objective now was to ascertain the cause of death and the truth.

“We will find the truth, and the truth will be made public. That is the most important thing,” he said.

He said the issue should not be politicised, or for certain parties to gain political advantage, but to tell the public what really happened.

Asked on the intention of Teoh’s family to meet him, Najib said, “I’m prepared to meet them on the basis of the law. In other words, whatever the laws of the nation, we will abide by them.”

Yesterday, Teoh’s family expressed their desire to meet Najib to request that a comprehensive investigation be carried out into Teoh’s death. — Bernama

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2 Responses to “Royal commission, inquest will be according to law: Najib”

  1. Gopal Raj Kumar says:

    The Indian community in Malaysia now have every right to demand a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the deaths of a number of Indian Malaysians in police custody.

    If not granted then the government will have on its hands reinforcement of the allegation that they do tend to discriminate and to do so on the basis of race and race alone.

    The cause of Teoh’s death from the evidence so far is an open question. Kugan’s was not from the evidence. There were wounds that were systematically inflicted over a period of time whilst he was in police custody which were not self inflicted and not present when he was taken into custody.

    A further set of circumstances like the suspension of those 11 officers on suspicion of murder, an allegation by the police themselves is sufficient cause for the government to have ordered an investigation into Kugan’s death which has dragged on for too long now.

    The older the matter gets the longer the “investigation” continues, the memory of witnesses and the value of evidence with age diminishes the prospects of securing a conviction in that matter. More importantly it denies the community the opportunity to learn from its mistakes and affords an opportunity to that rogue element in the police force the indemnity against prosecution as it were.

    Kugan’s deaths served as a reminder that life regardless of the race or social standing of the individual victim is and should never be the issue or criteria for justice. Many in the more affluent classes and communities thought otherwise. Death most foul has now visited another class and another category of citizen.

    If Kugan’s death goes unpunished then the precedent will have been set for this sort of crime to go unpunished and legitimised in a bizarre way.

  2. Nicholas Aw says:

    Let us give the benefit of the doubt to the Royal Commission of Inquiry as they will have enough clout to come up with comprehensive recommendations to study the procedures concerning interrogation applied by the MACC. I am absolutely sure that their findings and recommendations would appease the people including the late Teo Beng Hock’s family.

    What goes beyond that is anybody’s guess. The heavy leather-bound volume so meticulously put together would be placed on an empty shelf or in a drawer to gather dust for eternity. To be fair to the government, one or two of the recommendations would be adopted as an eye-wash. This is as far as the report will go. No more, no less.

    Am I being biased or unfair in making a statement of this nature? It will be a unanimous ‘YES’ from the government. However I beg to differ as past reports of royal commissions have proven to be nothing more than ‘bed time stories’. We do not have to go back too far in time to be aware of this. Just look at the recommendations made by the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam Affair. Lingam and others involved are walking about freely. For all you know they might be laughing at all of us.

    Unless and until the government can adopt the recommendations of royal commissions in total, the setting up of such bodies remain a farce.

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