News Report by Malaysians for Beng Hock
After Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak announced on 7th January that a royal commission of inquiry to be set up to scrutinize the investigation methods and procedures of the MACC and not the cause of death of Teoh Beng Hock, the public expressed their anger over the sham royal commission.
The civil movement, Malaysians for Beng Hock, has kicked off a signature campaign from 8th to 9th January 2011 in Penang and Kedah. We successfully collected approximately 18,000 signatures from the public who supported the setting up of a royal commission to probe the death of the late Teoh Beng Hock. The number of signatories increased tremendously after PM Najib announced the sham and misconceived Royal commission, proof that the people were not misled by the PM’s evasive initiative. The people of Penang and Kedah strongly insisted that the government must deliver the truth owed to the Teoh family, as well as justice for Beng Hock.
Malaysians for Beng Hock vow to organize nation-wide road shows to explain to the people about the sham RCI established by the government that does not probe the cause of Beng Hock’s death.
At Penang Chowrasta Market, we collected a total of 2600 signatures with the help of 20 persons, which included amongst others, State Assemblyman for Komtar, Ng Wei Aik; The Adviser to Malaysians for Beng Hock cum President of LLG Cultural Development Centre, Dr. Toh Kin Woon; Suaram Penang Coordinator Ong Jing Cheng; USM students and countless others. Dr. Toh Kin Woon stated that the people cannot accept a royal commission which does not probe the cause of Beng Hock’s death. He urged the federal government to include probing the cause of death to be part of the terms of reference of the royal commission, thereby ensuring the truth for the Teoh family.
Besides Chowrasta market, we also held the signature campaign at a shopping mall, the ‘7th road pasar’, several food courts and night-markets nearby USM. The total number of signatures collected on that day were 11,225. Many stall owners and people expressed that “This must be supported!”, “To have died without any justice, the government has covered up the issue!” Some people even bought us drinks and food as a sign of their support.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng invited members of Malaysians for Beng Hock to his office after he was informed that we were in Penang to hold the signature campaign. He said the Penang State Government is fully supportive of the movement demanding a RCI to probe Beng Hock’s death. He said “Beng Hock can’t be brought back to life, but we want the system of justice to be revived.” He himself signed the signatory form as a symbol of his support. Malaysians for Beng Hock coordinator Ng Yap Hwa urged the Chief Minister to encourage all the Penang MPs and State Assemblymen’s offices to organize signature campaigns, because it demonstrates that the Penang State government and the people of Penang are fully supportive of the justice for beng hock movement, becoming the first state to stand up for this issue of human rights.
The next day we visited four places in Sungai Petani – UTC Pasar Pagi, Taman Intan Pasar, Taman Ria food court, and Taman Ria Jaya food court – and collected 2491 signatures. The Chairman of PKR Pekan Baru branch, Vincent Uh, and Sungai Petani local councilor Simon Ooi assisted us in the signature campaign in the four places. Malay and Indian friends from PKR accompanied us to collect the signatures. Lee Lan spoke to a Malay crowd at a Malay food court, saying that the Teoh family only wanted the truth and that she hoped the rakyat would give her their signatures. She also said that who could accept the fact that a living person who entered a government agency could then die under mysterious circumstances.
Malaysians for Beng Hock then arrived at Raja Uda Chinese New Year Market during night-time. Most of the Butterworth residents signed the petition without any hesitation after hearing that it was for Teoh Beng Hock. It reflects that the people are extremely dissatisfied with how the government has dealt with the tragedy, where they could not see the government’s sincerity in giving justice to Teoh Beng Hock. We collected 2400 signatures in Raja Uda with the help of Penang State Exco Lim Hock Seng, Komtar State Assemblyman Ng Wei Aik, Padang Lalang State Assemblyman Tan Cheong Heng, MPSP councilor Soon Lip Chee and members of LLG Cultural Development Centre.
Bukit Mertajam residents gathered at Kampung Baru at 830pm to support the signature campaign, where a total of 1300 signatures were collected. When Lee Lan arrived, all those present stood up and welcomed her by clapping. Lee Lan said that she always remembered the people of Bukit Mertajam because the Teoh family had received many greetings and condolence cards from the people of Bukit Mertajam after Beng Hock had died. She thanked the residents of Bukit Mertajam for their crucial support and encouragement to the Teoh family. After the signature campaign, all the residents including Bukit Mertajam MP Chong Eng, Assemblymen Tan Cheong Heng, Tan Hock Leong, and Ng Wei Aik held placards “Want the truth”, “Justice for Beng Hock”, “Refuse to forget, insist the truth”, demanding a royal commission of inquiry to probe Beng Hock’s death.
The total signatures collected within the 2 days at 13 places reached 18,000, doubling the total signatures collected in Johor and Melaka. We maintain that the failure of the inquest to uncover the truth and the sham RCI announced by PM Najib has caused the people to lose confidence in Najib’s administration, where the ever increasing number of signatories show strong discontent against the government.
Malaysians for Beng Hock call upon the PM to walk the talk of his “People first, Performance now” slogan, by expanding the terms of reference of the RCI to necessarily include the cause of Beng Hock’s death in his meeting with the cabinet today. He must select personnel of high integrity, with good and impeccable track records in defending human rights as the RCI commissioners, to ensure the truth and justice for Beng Hock, where those who caused his death must bear the full, legal and criminal responsibility of their actions.
Finally, those interested to assist Malaysians for Beng Hock in the signature campaign – whether you are from NGOs, political parties or ordinary Malaysian citizens – please contact the following local coordinator to get the petition form or encourage your friends to sign the petition online. http://www.petitiononline.com/m4bh/
KL Ng Yap Hwa 012-2658448 Mr. Chia 03-22746645
Penang Ong Jing Cheng 012-7583779
Bukit Mertajam MK Tan 016-4239708
N.Sembilan Koo Kai Soon 012-3948061
Melaka Mr. Tam 016-6651313
Segamat Mr. Lim 013-7728118
Muar Mr. Gan 017-6332870
Batu Pahat Daniel 012-7511110
Yong Peng Mr. Yu 016-7521358 Madam Chew 019-7744916
Kluang Peter 012-7385066
Johor Bahru Ms Fang 016-7782707
Reported by :
Ng Yap Hwa