PAS vice president Mahfuz has described the ‘open verdict’ delivered in Teoh Beng Hock’s death inquest as irresponsible, saying it was the “weirdest” court decision in the nation’s history.
“No decision on his death, yet the coroner (Azmil Muntapha Abas) ruled that there was enough evidence to show that the injury on Teoh’s neck was a pre-fall injury,” he told Harakahdaily.
Mahfuz, who is also the Pokok Sena member of parliament, questioned how the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) could be let off easily without any responsibility over the death of Teoh, which happened under its custody.
“Coroner ruled that there were evidences to show a pre-fall injury on Teoh’s neck. Based on the place and time, why is MACC not being held responsible?” he asked.
Teoh, 30 was found dead on the fifth floor landing of Plaza Masalam, Shah Alam, while under custody of the Selangor branch of the MACC, in July 2009. An inquest which lasted a year and five months since it began two weeks after Teoh’s death did not provide any closure and failed to establish the truth behind the mysterious death.
Based on the logic of the verdict, Mahfuz asked whether the public could also conclude that while Teoh was neither injured by others nor inflicted the injury himself, “there was injury”.
“The decision not only fails to provide answers, but raised more questions than before,” said Mahfuz, and reiterated PAS’s earlier call to establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate the cause of Teoh’s death.
Mahfuz however cautioned that such an inquiry should not be a repeat of the inquiry which investigated the video tape exposing lawyer V.K. Lingam in a scandalous telephone conversation with a top judge.
“The suggestions proposed by the commission were ignored and no action was taken – only a waste of public funds,” recalled Mahfuz.
Mahfuz’s colleague Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man meanwhile said those who had accused Teoh of committing suicide must apologise to Teoh’s family and the public.
The Pahang PAS commissioner also urged the government to establish a royal commission to investigate the incident.