Updated at 10.40am, 17 July 2009
SHAH ALAM, 16 July 2009: A Selangor state executive councillor’s special assistant, Teoh Beng Hock, was found dead today in the corridor of the fifth floor of Plaza Masalam.
Teoh, who was in his 30s, was believed to have fallen off the building. His body was found lying face-down at about 1.30pm.
At about 8pm, his body had not been taken from the scene and the police were still investigating.
Teoh, the special assistant to exco Ean Yong Hian Wan, was a witness in the investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) into allegations of misappropriation of state allocations.
MACC’s director of investigation Datuk Mohd Shukri Abdull said at a news conference at the scene that Teoh went to the Selangor
MACC office on the 14th floor of Plaza Masalam at 5pm yesterday to give a statement and was allowed to leave at 3.45am today.
He said that before leaving, Teoh promised to return to the Selangor MACC office and bring several documents to assist in the investigations.
“He however said he wanted to rest first in the visitors’ room [in] the MACC office and was allowed to do so. At 6am, he was seen sleeping on the sofa and after [that he] was not seen again.
“During the investigation the victim cooperated fully as he was not an accused but was a witness,” he said.
Yong, the Seri Kembangan assemblyperson, was among seven state assemblypersons and executive councillors being investigated by the MACC.
Yesterday, the MACC raided Yong’s office at the state secretariat here to take documents related to state allocations and took Teoh in for questioning.
Mohd Shukri said that after he was informed that Teoh’s body was found on the fifth floor today, the commission made a police report.
On the long time taken to conduct its investigation, Mohd Shukri said it was normal procedure in all investigations done by the commission.
According to Yong, Teoh was supposed to register his marriage tomorrow (17 July). Yong, who was in shock over the tragedy, said he wanted explanation from the MACC.
Meanwhile, Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said Teoh’s death came as a shock. “We in the state government wish to extend our deepest condolences to his family,” he told a news conference later.
He said Selangor police chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar had given the assurance that the police would carry out a thorough investigation, including allowing a pathologist appointed by the state government to be part of the investigation team.
“I hope there will be no repeat of this incident,” he said.
In a related development, Yong said Teoh had been instructed to go to the Selangor MACC office at 6pm yesterday and had driven there alone.
“I went to the MACC office at midnight and asked the MACC to release him but they told me they could not do so as they needed to adhere to the 24-hour investigation procedure. I left the office at 1.30am.
“Then I returned at 5am and after waiting for about half an hour, I met an MACC officer from Putrajaya who told me that they had released Teoh at about 3.45am after they completed their investigations.
“They claimed that Teoh wanted to rest in the office and that he was not seen again after that. Then at 1.30pm, I was told about the discovery of his body,” he said.
Teoh, a former reporter with Sin Chew Daily, was appointed special aide to Yong shortly after the 12th general election last year.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said a thorough investigation will be carried out by the authorities.
“I have yet to receive a report on the incident but there will be a thorough investigation carried out to find out the cause of death,” he said at the National Anti- Drug Agency’s (AADK) Media Awards event.
Selangor police chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar said Teoh’s death was classified as sudden death. Khalid said the police took a long time to send the body to hospital for post-mortem because with it being a sensitive case, the police had to wait for the arrival of two pathologists from Universiti Malaya Medical Centre and one each from Hospital Kuala Lumpur and Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital.
The four pathologists inspected the body from 4pm to 9pm, he said. — Bernama