WHAT happened to Teoh Beng Hock? How did he end up dead outside the Selangor Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) office in Plaza Masalam, Shah Alam?
These were some of the questions on many people’s minds as a crowd gathered in front of the building on the morning of 17 July 2009, a day after Teoh’s body was found on roof of the fifth floor. The MACC office is on the 14th floor.
Teoh, 30, was the political secretary to Selangor executive council (exco) member Ean Yong Hian Wah, the Seri Kembangan assemblyperson from the DAP, which is part of the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition.
On 15 July, the Selangor MACC, investigating allegations of misappropriation of state allocations, had raided Yong’s office. Teoh was questioned as a witness at the state MACC office in Plaza Masalam later that day.
At about 1.30pm on 16 July, a janitor found Teoh’s body on the fifth floor of the building. The police are investigating the case.
PR members and supporters held a candlelight vigil outside Plaza Masalam that night. On the morning of 17 July, several PR leaders went to lodge a complaint with the Selangor MACC. The leaders, who included Opposition Leader and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, and PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub, started arriving from about 10am.
“The government says that people should not blame the MACC for [Teoh’s] death until the investigation is over, but we say that until they can prove who killed Beng Hock, the MACC should be held responsible for his death,” Lim told reporters later.
Anwar said the PR leaders have agreed that a royal commission should be set up to investigate the matter “because we have very little confidence in the MACC and police investigations.”
In the meantime, the Selangor government has decided to be more cautious with investigations involving its officers. “The state government has from now on decided not to let its officers leave their offices for investigations. The state government will provide lawyers to help the state’s officers when they are investigated,” Khalid said.
“Teoh was an officer of the state government, so the state government will help his family with all the arrangements for his funeral,” he added.
The police kept watch over the crowd that gathered in front of the building and later arrested seven people, including state exco member Dr Xavier Jayakumar, and Kapar Member of Parliament S Manikavasagam, both from PKR. Those detained were later released on police bail.
Indeed, what did happen to Teoh? Only the MACC knows. The photos capture the atmosphere quite well. Heard the Summoning Ceremony held there later in the afternoon was a real tear-jerker as well.
Mohd Bakri says
Thousands have died in police lockups. And they continue to die, mysteriously, or so it seems … And now within the building of the MACC? Is it just me or does this picture trouble you? Does it leave a stench of death?
Selective investigations, late night interrogations, secretive and delayed procedures, and MACC personnel claiming everything was “standard procedure”?
I believe this picture warrants an in-depth independent investigation. And it should be thoroughly investigated by authorities not associated with the police or the MACC.
Malaysians are tired of waking up to hear a concocted tale of sudden deaths in police custody. The rakyat are not convinced that young men and women who are hauled up for investigation purposes die natural deaths in detention environments. The rakyat demands integrity.
Many of these so-called “investigations” and questionings were done without permitting lawyers of those questioned to be present.
1Malaysia? Let’s wait and watch how such slogans and Barisan rhetoric measure when young Malaysians die mysteriously among our “custodians” of law and order.
Nobody expected this would happen.
The least right-thinking Malaysians shocked by the unfortunate death and the MACC’s blatant reneging of responsibilities can do is to attend Teoh’s funeral on Monday.
Greg Lopez says
A line needs to be drawn. Umno has crossed it far too many times. It is time Malaysians fought back.
Nicholas Aw says
The police and the MACC will have an arduous task getting to the bottom of this mystery all because of their own doing. The public image of the police and also the MACC is at its lowest ebb as a result of alleged unfairness and selective investigations.
Perhaps the setting up of a royal commission may lend credence towards the investigation. But let us not lose sight of the woods for the trees. What is more important is the post-investigations. Are the authorities willing to act without fear or favour? Otherwise it will just be another toothless royal commission as in the case of the Lingam Affair. The public’s perception is that the meticulous investigation will end with no further action.
What is beyond comprehension is why a young upcoming political secretary who was supposed to be married soon, commited suicide. Did he? Even if he did, it [could] have probably been the consequence of MACC’s intense questioning that broke down this innocent young man. Or did someone else kill him?
Whatever may be the cause of the mystery, one thing is for sure: the MACC and the police will have a difficult time explaining.
No matter what the government says, MACC [should still be held] responsible for Teoh’s death. Teoh’s body was found in MACC building.
Can somebody claim that a person who is getting married tomorrow comes to his house tonight to commit suicide?
Teoh’s death is a tragedy but the bigger tragedy is why the MACC is extremely busy investigating state governments of Pakatan.
The MACC must not only be but also perceived to be objective and fair. However, it is losing its moral position with its huge and public bias against non-Barisan state governments recently.
Question is: Why are they not investigating simple but obvious things like Khir Toyo’s “RM3.5 million mansion”? Why are they also not investigating how Umno ministers’ wives are spending “their money” with cash transactions overseas or say, in the KL outlets of Cartier or Tiffany.
If the MACC continues to portray itself in such a pathetic and biased manner, then it is time for it to be shut down.
Ken Kenneth says
No need for any so called “investigation”, the outcome is already fixed. We should use our vote to make the change and change we CAN.
I have seen politicians losing their lives either by natural causes, or accidents. But when I heard of Teoh’s mishap, I was indeed very saddened, I was emotionally disturbed as well.
The whole team of MACC officers and their heads should be suspended until the investigations are over. MACC is disgraceful to the nation and I have no respect for them.
Every time I think of this young man, I think of how he should not have died.
I feel so sad with what has happen to Teoh. Why don’t MACC investigate Khir Toyo and the rest of the politicians that simply spend the country’s monies with bribery? Malaysian taxpayers pay the government bodies to misuse their power and I am not proud of being Malaysian. Feel so embarrassed with what is happening to our country. People can LOL on every single issue that happens in Malaysia now.
I agree wit what Kenneth said, the so call “investigation” will have a satisfied “outcome”. Actually we all can guess the result already … what we can do is just *make a change*.
Philip Selvaraj says
Maybe it was not the MACC people that killed him.
Under Najib, certain govt agencies including the police and MACC are being pressured to work to ensure the survival of the BN govt. The death of Teoh is an indirect result of this policy.
I’m disappointed with the way MACC conducts investigations. If MACC is not held responsible for such an action, then who should be? MACC claims that Teoh rested on the sofa right after interrogation late in the morning but I believe many don’t think so. He had a marriage to go on. His fiancee was waiting for him. But what happened after he went into the building? He didn’t even have the opportunity to conduct his wedding ceremony, instead a funeral procession. Thanks to whom? I believe next time the same case will happen if MACC is not abolished.
What happened to Teoh? I think we will never have the TRUE answer to his death. In this country, when government is involve, nobody will get the real answer. In my state, everybody talks about the authority taking money from the public but no action is taken because we can’t win. The MACC only checks on people without government support and those with government backing, they don’t touch.
Philip Selvaraj says
Perhaps there is mafia connection in the MACC. To have him dead would have facilitated the cover-up.
The [question] on my mind is ….what if Teoh did not die? I think it’s fortunate for Malaysia that Teoh died as he died a martyr for Malaysian democracy. His death, though very sad, backfired on the intense investigation [of Pakatan Rakyat’s alleged] corruption, most of which could be just technical, without bad intent.
But Umno [presumably] needs an excuse, regardless how slight, to cause [the] downfall of [Pakatan Rakyat-]controlled state governments. […] [If] Teoh didn’t die, they [would have] continued squeezing until they [found] the [needed evidence] of corruption. With his DEATH, democracy in Malaysia is saved, at least for the time being.
This is so disturbing. Everything that has happened in this country in the past three years has just been so surreal: Pak Lah’s fall, Bersih, Hindraf, Altantuya, Kugan, 2008 polls, Anwar’s failed takeover, Najib’s coup – now MACC murder scandal. It’s all pointing towards the end of BN.
We should stop calling BN the government because they’re not capable of governing anymore. Supremacist, corrupt, criminal – that’s what the BN and all its related agencies […] are. They’re all sick with lust and greed for more power and money. And we’re all being infected by BN’s bad habits; killing us all one by one.
Destroy BN before it destroys Malaysia.
Overseas Malaysian says
People of Malaysia, rise up and demand the truth on what happened to Teoh Beng Hock. Next, it will be you or your children – they don’t even bother to make it look like an accident anymore. I could not take it anymore, so I left to live overseas, but if you intend to stay in Malaysia, you have to take immediate, urgent action to bring those guilty to account as a warning to others!
I have my head to give opinions,
I have my mouth to blame others,
But I need evidence to seek the truth for Teoh.
Who benefits from Teoh’s death?
How long will this investigation last?
If someone’s responsible, what the hell [did he or she] get from Teoh?
A young man with a good life.
Who will be punished to satisfy the angry ones?
When Teoh is our friend and not [theirs].
A lot of these questions are on my mind.
< Sad Posted: 21 Jul 09 : 6.49PM I feel so sad with what has happen to Teoh. Why don't MACC investigate Khir Toyo and the rest of the politicians that simply spend the country's monies with bribery? Malaysian taxpayers pay the government bodies to misuse their power and I am not proud of being Malaysian. Feel so embarrassed with what is happening to our country. People can LOL on every single issue that happens in Malaysia now. >
I agree what Sad said. They are doing unnecessary things and all of these issues are making me feel embarrassed when someone asks me where I come from: Malaysia.
MACC should be fully responsible for Beng Hock death as his personal items [were] still in MACC custody even after his body was found. And they got the guts to say finished questioning him at 3:45am. Then why never return his personal items to him so he could drive home and would be still alive now?
All for true democracy says
I am saddened by the death of Teoh but I hope his sacrifice will be the motivation for Malaysians to push for true democracy in this country. The truth of his dead may not be revealed as many of such injustices have been swept under the carpet by authorities. But please remember that he has sacrificed his life for us to come forward as brave Malaysians to show the authorities what we actually want is a true democratic Malaysia!
Who killed Teoh?
How many years can a mountain exist
Before it’s washed to the sea?
Yes, ‘n’ how many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free?
Yes, ‘n’ how many times can a man turn his head,
Pretending he just doesn’t see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.
How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, ‘n’ how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, ‘n’ how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.
Everyone wants to know what really happened to Beng Hock? You really think an MACC officer pushed him from the 14th floor? Come on…what’s good for MACC? […] Wait…we will see the truth behind Beng Hock’s death.
Let him rest in peace, dude…you all got nothing to do, meh?