Teoh Beng Hock’s case which has captured the attention of the entire nation has been ruled as “Open verdict” by the Coroner’s Court. What an open verdict means is that even though the Court confirms that the death is suspicious, but it is unable to reach any of the other verdicts open to him. Hence it really means a “verdict with doubts”.
This ruling has of course deeply disappointed a lot of people; but is also within the expectations of a lot of people.
The citizens are “outsiders”, and have no expertise. Hence they are not qualified to comment on the coroner’s ruling. But since the autopsy has ruled out homicide, and there is no evidence that it is suicide. Hence people will continue to scratch their heads, continue to doubt, and continue to want to know what the truth is.
It cannot be denied that right from the start, this case is wrapped up with strong political connotations. It is because when Teoh Beng Hock was alive, he was the political secretary of the Selangor state executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah. And also because he was found dead outside the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Selangor headquarters in Shah Alam, after being taken in by anti-corruption officials to assist in the investigation of the Pakatan Rakyat members accused of abuse of state funds.
Because there were too many whys, and because the doubts were snowballing, as such the Government established a Coroner’s Court to investigate the cause of Beng Hock’s death. After 56 days of hearing, we witnessed the process of discussion by the different parties and have seen part of the truth. But the final decision has returned us all to square one, and we are still unable to solve the important mystery.
In history, open verdicts on the deaths of political figures can be found everywhere. Some cases have since been gathering dust in the archives. Others have descendants who are reluctant to give up finding the truth.
The assassin of the US President Abraham Lincoln who proclaimed the emancipation of the blacks was found. But he was shot and killed on the spot by a policeman. So the real murderer and the truth behind the case became an eternal mystery.
As for the shooting of Chen Shui-bian and Lu Xiu-lian during the Taiwan’s presidential election in 2004, even though the prosecutors announced that the case had been solved, but because the alleged perpetrator involved in the case had committed suicide, leading to closing of the case, the truth remains a puzzle.
The shocking assassination of the US President John F. Kennedy is still an unsolved case. The murderer was arrested on the spot. The seven man commission of inquiry set up by the US government announced that there was only one criminal, and that the case had nothing to do with other parties after carrying out forensic investigation. It caused a public outcry. What is even more incredible is that 20 years after this political assassination occurred, important witnesses involved began to lose their lives one after another in strange circumstances!
Because the citizens did not believe that that was the bottom of the truth, there are still people conducting a variety of investigations into the Kennedy assassination.
Similarly, the dispute in Teoh Beng Hock’s case, I believe, will not stop. The calls to unearth the truth will continue to spread and become a political issue. The banners “An injustice waiting to be made right” raised by Beng Hock’s family highlight their determination to bring the perpetrators to justice. Where doubts exist, the pursuit of the truth will prevail, this is the wish of the citizens!