Source : Malaysian Insider
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 23 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) was forced today to remove from its oficial blog an offensive posting describing Thai forensic expert Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand as a fortune teller, and which the DAP said was prejudicial to the Teoh Beng Hock inquest.
The blog at ourdifferentview.com had posted an article entitled “Dr Porntip Ahli Nujum?” (Dr Porntip a Fortune-Teller), complete with an altered picture of Dr Pornthip as a gypsy fortune teller gazing into a crystal ball.
The MACC’s “Dr Pornthip a Fortune-Teller?” blog post, which was taken from an anonymous blog at http://www.imrite.wordpress.com, accused Dr Pornthip of being hired by the Selangor government to testify just to “inflame the rakyat’s anger”.
“The article is prejudicial to the on-going inquest and is a clear attempt to disclaim any responsibility and prevent the discovery of the truth behind Teoh Beng Hock’s death at MACC’s premises,” DAP national publicity secretary Tony Pua told The Malaysian Insider today.
“The use of an anonymous post to make baseless allegations against the credibility of Dr Pornthip is an offensive tactic by MACC to cover up its own mess,” he added.
The national anti-graft body’s official blog at http://www.ourdifferentview.com was launched in May this year to fight negative public perception since the mysterious death of Teoh, a DAP political aide, at MACC’s Selangor headquarters in Shah Alam last July.
MACC deputy chief commissioner (Prevention) Datuk Hajah Sutinah Sutan had cited the abundance of “gossip and inaccurate information” about the agency as the reason for launching their blog, Facebook page, and Twitter micro-blogging account this year.
The anti-graft body took down the “Dr Porntip Ahli Nujum?” post shortly after The Malaysian Insider requested an explanation on why they posted articles from anonymous blogs.
MACC’s corporate communications director however could not be reached for comment.
Pua, also the Petaling Jaya Utara MP, said that MACC’s blog post showed the agency’s insincerity in its letter of regret to the Teoh family, noting that it was nothing but “crocodile tears” on their part.
On the anniversary of Teoh’s death, MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Abu Kassim Mohamed had issued a condolence statement to the Teoh family written in Chinese, pledging not to “cover up” the actions of anyone who may have been involved in causing the DAP political aide’s death.
“MACC has neither demonstrated any remorse or regret in its deeds,” said Pua, adding that the agency seemed to be interested in discrediting witnesses at the inquest instead of determining the truth behind Teoh’s death which has caused a public uproar.
The blog post accused Dr Pornthip of lacking the courage to say outright that Teoh was murdered as she purportedly “did not have any evidence to support her assumptions”.
It also questioned Dr Pornthip about purportedly changing her earlier testimony that Teoh’s death was 80 per cent homicide to saying that he did not commit suicide, although she was not a psychiatrist.
Lawyer for the Teoh family Gobind Singh Deo slammed MACC for showing “complete and utter disrespect for the coroner” by posting the article on their official blog.
“It goes beyond prejudicial; it is highly offensive,” said Gobind, adding that the article signalled a “highly embarrassing” act of desperation on the part of the MACC.
MACC lawyer Datuk Abdul Razak Musa had relentlessly attacked Dr Pornthip’s qualifications and testimony at the inquest recently to the point of asking the forensic expert if Teoh could have strangled himself, sparking an immediate retort from Gobind who asked Abdul Razak to demonstrate it.
Gobind, also the Puchong MP, said that he would still raise the matter at the next hearing although MACC has removed the blog post.
The blog post, which can now be found at http://www.imrite.wordpress.com, also questioned why Dr Pornthip testified only after four experts had testified, and alleged that this “arrangement” could have been done to give the impression that she was more qualified than them.
“Is she really a forensic expert, psychiatric expert, DNA expert or merely a fortune-teller?” stated the article.
Gobind said that the article was “highly incorrect” and challenged MACC to make their statements during the inquest.
“If you (MACC) have something to say, say it in court in front of us,” said the lawyer.
Dr Pornthip maintained at the hearing last week that Teoh’s death was not a suicide due to pre-fall injuries although she declined to repeat her previous assertion that it was 80 per cent homicide.
The forensic pathologist also testified that her institute mandated strict protocol in handling evidence like documents, such as conducting fingerprint dusting and DNA testing immediately after discovery.
This caused Gobind and Selangor government lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar to question the integrity of the new evidence the Attorney-General’s Chambers is trying to tender, widely speculated to be a suicide note, ten months after it was allegedly found.
The 30-year-old political secretary to Selangor state councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah was found dead July 16 last year on a fifth-floor landing at Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam, nine floors below the MACC’s Selangor then headquarters.
He had been interrogated overnight by anti-graft officers probing claims his boss was misusing state funds.