08 January, 2011

MCA echoing Perkasa's sentiment

Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek dismissed calls for a royal commission to probe Teoh Beng Hock’s death, whose scope has been limited to anti-graft investigation methods.

“The Attorney-General already said he would file for a revision (of the verdict) to look into the cause of death,”

The PM said Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail had expressed his dissatisfaction with Coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas’s verdict and would file for a revision soon at the Shah Alam High Court.

Najib has also said the RCI could not look into the cause of Teoh’s death as the law mandated such investigations to be done through the coroner’s office.

Teoh’s family, the Bar Council and the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam), however, have demanded the PM to expand the powers of the RCI.

At a press conference yesterday, Malay rights pressure group Perkasa has urged the federal government not to proceed with its plan to establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry into political aide Teoh Beng Hock's death.

Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali said there was no need for the commission because the inquest had already declared an open verdict on his cause of death.

"We should all just leave it to the police to handle the matter and take action against the guilty party," said Ibrahim.

Given that the courts had already decided on the matter, having the commission to probe the matter was tantamount to disrespecting the courts and a waste of public funds.

"(What) if this commission does work? What else will we establish next?" Ibrahim asked.

He explained that the inquest will serve no purpose because the matter had already been presented in an open court.

“Of course, we are saddened about his passing but this should not be the way,” he said.

Ibrahim adds that the establishment of the commission would also serve as fodder for the opposition.

Meanwhile, Teoh family’s lawyer, Gobind Singh Deo, said yesterday it was meaningless and a waste of public funds to set up an RCI that could not investigate how Teoh had plunged to his death.

Bar Council president Ragunath Kesavan also stressed that the Najib administration was obliged to give the family closure.

Teoh’s sister Lee Lan accused Najib yesterday of failing to honour his promise that the Teoh family would know how her brother died.

She expressed her disappointment with Najib’s announcement of setting up an RCI that lacked the powers to investigate the suspicious circumstances surrounding Teoh’s death.

Lee Lan pointed out that the coroner had noted there were pre-fall injuries and had singled out the injury to Teoh’s neck.

She also said when the family met Najib two years ago after Teoh died, the PM personally pledged he would see to it the family will know how Teoh fell nine floors to his death.

However, Dr Chua questioned Lee Lan’s claims of Najib’s vow to the family.

“Do you know what the prime minister said to the family? Were you there?” he asked a reporter who had highlighted Lee Lan’s claims.

“It is not fair to say what the family said is true and what the prime minister said is not true,” added Dr Chua.

He also stressed that Teoh’s death should not be used to gain political mileage.

“We extend our fullest sympathy but it should not be politicised,” he said.

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