Press Statement by Malaysians for Beng Hock on 29 Jan 2011
Malaysians for Beng Hock welcomes PM Najib Razak’s decision to expand the terms of reference (TOR) of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to investigate the causes of Teoh Beng Hock’s death. The movement declares the end of the signature and endorsement campaign as it moves on to monitor the investigation work of the RCI in the 90 days beginning from yesterday (Jan 28).
Malaysians for Beng Hock stresses that, the expansion of the RCI’s TOR is the direct outcome of pressure from civil society and concerned citizens. The PM was adamant that the RCI would only investigate the investigation procedures of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and had told the Tenang voters not long ago to disassociate the quest for truth on Teoh’s death from the by-election.
This about-turn of the government’s position proves that the vilification by certain politicians and political parties that the Teoh family and civil society has been politicising Teoh’s tragic death is nothing but a vicious ploy to protect the culprits and perpetrators.
However, notwithstanding the about-turn, the PM had refused to meet the Teoh family before nominating the RCI members and also rejected all the seven nominees by the 126 civil society groups. This raises the question whether the current 5-member RCI would end up as another public relations exercise like the one-and-half-year Inquest that tortures the Teoh family even more.
“Malaysians for Beng Hock” insists that the RCI must pursue the criminal, administrative and political responsibilities of the MACC and all others who are involved. As a starter, the RCI must uncover the truth on the following questions: first, the link between the injury on Teoh’s neck and his death; secondly, the motives of the MACC to interrogate Teoh and deprive him food and sleep for 11 hours; and thirdly, the mysterious “commander” whom the MACC Selangor officers report to – while keeping Teoh’s family and Selangor State Government in the dark – in the first instance after Teoh’s body was found. No stones must be left unturned.
In response to this latest development, “Malaysians for Beng Hock” hereby announces the end of the signature and endorsement campaign in its first stage. We thank civil society groups and concerned citizens nationwide for their warm support and urge them to send the collected signatures to the movement’s secretariat.
The next course of action will be to scrutinise the workings of the RCI. As RCI is the last avenue of investigation provided by law, members of the public should pay great attention to the developments of the RCI while counting down the days until it wraps up.
We must make sure that the RCI report to be submitted on April 28 will be credible and impactful; and not end up with a few scapegoats being paraded in front of the public while the real perpetrators get away scot-free. Details of the “scrutinise and countdown” operation will be announced at a later date.