Source : Malaysiakini
About 350 Penangites packed the Han Chiang School hall in Penng yesterday, hoping to hear Teoh Beng Hock’s younger sister Lee Lan address the crowd in person at public forum.
However, Lee Lan’s 25-minute speech was delivered through a video clip, calling for public support and action and the setting up of a royal commission of inquiry to seek justice for her brother’s death.
The video depicting Lee Lan fight back tears, drawing her audience who listened in rapt attention and cheered whenever she urged for truth and justice to surface in her sibling’s case.
She said if there were no answers to Teoh’s death, then people would be very reluctant to become political aides to members of Parliament or state assemblypersons as such a fate could befall them too.
Teoh, 30, was found dead on July 16 last year on the fifth floor service walkway of Plaza Masalam, Shah Alam, after an all-night interrogation as a witness by the Selangor Malaysian
Anti-Corruption Commission. Its office is on the 14th floor of the building.
He was the aide of Selangor DAP chairperson Ean Yong Hian Wah, who was being investigated for alleged irregularities in disbursing state allocations.
“Moreover, this case is a form of corruption in the judicial system,” she asserted in a heavy tone during her pre-recorded speech.
Lee Lan questioned the sudden emergence of evidence in the form of an apparent “suicide note” provided by the public prosecutors’ office in the recent inquest proceedings.
The note, which had been in the possession of the attorney-general’s office since last October, is said to be Teoh’s “final testament” and will be tendered as evidence in the inquest into his death on Sept 20, along with a translation of the note and some notebooks.
‘Lack of independence and transparency’
Lee Lan said this latest development showed a lack of independence and transparency in the judicial system.
She also suspected that there is a lot of evidence that has yet to be disclosed about Teoh’s death last year as the matter is being contested by lawyers Gobind Singh Deo and Malik Imtiaz Sarwar.
The duo represent Teoh’s family and the Selangor government respectively, and claim that the evidence was withheld from them until Aug 9.
“If there are such forensic officers in the country, can we say that our administration of justice is fair?” she queried.
She also criticised the Malaysian Anti-Corrution Commission and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz for the various obstacles for Thai forensic expert Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand give to testify at the inquest.
“We continue to doubt the MACC, even the condolence message sent to us about Beng Hock’s death anniversary (which came a year later), is it really sincere?” she asked.
The forum was organised by human rights NGO Suaram, social reform group Aliran, civil society network Sembang Sembang Forum, LLG Cultural Centre and Amnesty International (AI).
Other than Lee Lan, speakers included LLG Cultural Centre president Dr Toh Kin Woon, Aliran president P Ramakrishnan and AI executive director Nora Murat, while Suaram’s Ng Eng Kiat moderated the forum.
A torture-free country?
Meanwhile, Nora challenged the government to declare Malaysia a torture-free country. Her statement received loud applause from the crowd.
Resentment towards the Barisan Nasional-led federal government was obvious when Ramakrishnan (right) said “if people wanted things to change, then they must firstly change the government”.
The crowd broke out in the loudest cheer to hear the veteran social activist message of change.
Toh, on the other hand ,noted that concern over Teoh’s death is still strong and far from waning.
He said, however, civil society should be more actively involved in the search for justice for Teoh.
“The campaign to seek justice for Teoh will be in full swing, with Lee Lan’s video uploaded on a website with English subtitles,” he added.