Thursday, February 17, 2011

Teoh Beng Hock Royal Commission of Inquiry

What started as a lark has quickly become reality. Frustrated with not getting fair and impartial info on the Teoh Beng Hock case, I ran a quick survey on facebook. If I were to personally attend and report, would anyone of you be interested to read my findings?

I was floored by the amounts of “yes” answers. It looks like I’ll have to dig up the old video cam and scratch pad and be a man and keep my word. What was that saying again about being careful what you ask for?

I’m assuming that those who are following the case are relatively well informed of the cast and supporting characters, So here goes the first installment:

Datuk Seri Mohd Shafee Abdullah’s contention:

Today’s Star, Feb 18

Counsel appearing for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Datuk Seri Shafee Abdullah explained that a revision was not like an appeal and once its done, even the A-G does not have the power to withdraw it.

The Star, Feb 17

Counsel Datuk Seri Shafee Abdullah, who is representing the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission said that although the Teoh familys proposed application for a review was urgent and serious, he was concerned about the time frame as the commission had only three months to conclude the inquiry.

Shafie also said there were British precedent of sitting judges presiding over Commissions of Inquiry and Tribunals.

The Sun Daily, Feb 17

However, this was refuted by Datuk Seri Mohd Shafee Abdullah, who is acting for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. Mohd Shafee argued that any postponement would delay the inquiry, and that an appeal was sure to happen regardless of which party won the judicial review.

He said such hearings would push the commission hearings back by up to three months, and that any evidence in question could be disqualified should the High Court allow a review.

“There has always been a retired judge as chairman and that ought to be the position. That matter is compounded in our case as Mr Chairman is a sitting Federal Court judge,” he said.

The Sun Daily, Feb 17

This position was refuted by Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) counsel Datuk Seri Mohd Shafee Abdullah, who argued that withdrawing the revision is out of the A-G’s hands.

Shafee said it is left in the hands of the High Court to decide the merits of a revision.

"It is a process of invocation of the powers of revision, it is never our right. So nobody can ask for a withdrawal of a revision because it is now with the court," said Shafee.

Shafee, who defended the independence of the three officers, pointed out that the parties which withdrew did so out of their own free will.

My contention:

The RCI should proceed, should’nt it? The Malaysia public has a right to know the facts of the case, at the very least to decide for themselves what actually happened to TBH. The withdrawals by his family & the Selangor government should not affect the ongoing RCI

It’s has been a such week of drama. So much of media attention has been on walkouts and withdrawals that it seems that several participants of the RCI are bent on derailing the process and at the very least, can be said to be not very helpful to the process.

The good news is it looks like the RCI has actually gotten down to brass tacks very quickly and the machinery is in the works.

The accusations that the RCI is not impartial are beginning to be shown to be untrue. The withdrawals are immaterial – it just shows that the RCI is humane enough to allow the complainants, TBH’s family and the Selangor state government, to actively participate in the proceedings.

However, their withdrawal just means the opposite - that the family and the Selangor state government will not be able to participate in the process. It’s a loss to them, not the RCI.

A survey among legal academics and practicing lawyers indicates the withdrawal of TBH’s family from the participation in the RCI will not have any effect on the proceedings.

Associate Professor Dr Johan Shamsuddin of the Faculty of Law (University of Malaya) said that while the proceedings would go on as scheduled, the family would have lost a valuable opportunity to observe and pose questions at the hearing.

“The lawyers representing them should have advised them against the withdrawal but it appears they did not act in the best interest of their clients,“ he said.

TBH’s lawyers had also challenged that Tan Sri James Foong Cheng Yuen should not preside as the RCI’s chairman as he is a sitting Federal Court judge. Again, more theatrics. To put things into perspective, Datuk Seri Mohd Shafee Abdullah, legal counsel for MACC explained that in previous British Royal Commissions of Inquiry, Law Lords had sat as panellists and chairmen, thereby setting the precedent.

At the same time, the RCI panel has decided to bring in Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand, Director of the Central Institute of Forensic Science, Ministry of Justice, Bangkok and British forensic expert Prof Dr Peter Vanezis as witnesses. How can the detractors still insist that the RCI is partial?

Hopefully, the drama will cease and the RCI be allowed to do its job. It’s got the mandate from the King and it has to deliver answers to the public and media, to you and to me by April 2011.

Latest update Sunday 20th Feb

click here for Star view

Although the departure of the Teoh family and the Selangor Government is regrettable, the task to find the truth is mandated by the law and commissioned by the King.

and here for the NST view

THE rejection by Teoh Beng Hock's family of the Royal Commission of Inquiry is unfortunate for it colours any further attempt to find the answer to his death. It would put in question any findings, even if it were to be homicide, since doubts have been cast on the whole process.


Anonymous said...

Everyone’s time wasted, money wasted, effort wasted.

Anonymous said...

I symphatise with Teoh Beng Hock's family with their loss...Im all for justice and support Teoh's family in finding the truth...I have been following those 2 hearings and from what i gather, they are hell bent in getting their own version of events and other outcomes will not be acceptable to them! There are so many disruptions. Let's give the RCI a chance to do its job and finished the hearing and by all means challenge the findings if the outcome are flaw.
Larry Lim

Anonymous said...

This is a Royal Commission Inquiry, and thus respect has to be given to the King. By withdrawing (with the advice of their lawyers), TBH family and Selangor govt are also showing disrespect to the King. Earlier, they are the one demanding for the RCI. But what happened now? So they want all the members of the RCI to be represented from their own people and chaired by the Bar Council President himself. Please continue with the RCI and conclude your findings.

Anonymous said...

There is a clear conflict of interest in the make-up of the RCI. How about some respect for the dead & some respect for the truth?
- Surinta

Anonymous said...

Wanton killings and lack of accountability is also rife in countries like Tunisia, Egypt, Iran, Libya and Yemen. Guess what happened there? All in good company. All in good time. Angel

Anonymous said...

I can understand why Karpal Singh & Co. have decided to withdraw. What is the point in continuing with the proceeding when there is a clear danger of impartiality on the part of the CI. How can the DPPs promise to act effectively as COs when their boss (AG) is pushing for the verdict that the death of Teoh was suicidal? Also, the danger of allowing a sitting judge to preside as a chairman is also non-negligible. Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done. The public wants the 'show' to go on without any interruption. However, this is not circus. The verdict of CI may have permanent effect on Teoh's case.
Shamsher Singh

Rasputin Beliong said...

To those who dispute the membership of the panel of the RCI, can we ask them who their ideal choice would be that they can guarantee full impartiality?

shanghaistephen said...

Dave, the outcome of this CI is an open secret already.The whole govt machinery is duty bound to defend and restore people's faith in a system that has gone to the dogs since that old and sicko Mahathir's constant interference and manipulation of the courts.This so-called "restoring of faith" is linked to sucking-up to their pay-masters....i.e.UMNO and we are the suffering victims witnessing this sendiwara or scam.

Just one curious point of inquiry.
How is it that in the begining MACC reported in the msm that TBH was free to go home but he was seen loitering around the lobby of MACC.But later on in the msm it was noted that there were no identification card on the body and that they were in the custody of the MACC ? See he was only a witness so why were they holding his documents. If he was free to go home should they not have returned them to TBH first ? And why hold a witness's ID ? Maybe some of your commentor's with a wider knowledge of the case can enlighten me ?
Cheers bro !

donplaypuks said...

"This is a Royal Commission Inquiry, and thus respect has to be given to the King." Anon 8.48 a.m.

The KIng has been insulted by the UMNO/BN Govt several times as the findings of TWO RCI's have not been implemented or action take as recommended - the ICPMC and Lingamgate!!

So pardon the public in thinking the TBH RCI will be nothing but a whitewash. Especially, when for the 1st time a sitting judge is appointed RCI Chairman and is assisted by the AG's office. Whither judicial independence?

Najib promised "open tender" when he became PM and now it is the exception to the rule. He promised "no stones will be left unturned" in the TBH case and then initially restricted the RCI to "whether MACC followed proper procedures". Are these the actions of a sincere PM?

we are all of 1 Race, the Human Race

Anonymous said...

Karpal is using Sun Zu strategy, which is don't fight a war that you can't win. Karpal know that they don't have any prove and will surely loss the case since RCI works by the book. When RCI works by the book, Karpal will have no chance to create drama, by withdrawing himself, they can say that they are not losing since they not even fighting.

Why can't Karpal respect the truth and the dead? Pity the family that is now become political commodity to Karpal DAP/PR.

The Teoh family on the other hand, while it is hard for someone to admit his son might be killing himself, but if that is the truth, prolonging the RCI and other stunts will not change the fact. It will only showing immature mind that can't accept the truth. Someone with a normal mind and character can accept death of a love one by at worst three months. But this things have being going for more than a year. Are the family having mental problem or what? I'm incline to say that its Karpal and gang that induce them to be forever sad for their own benefit.

Fauzi said...

This is a problem when you appoint a politician as the lawyer

TBH family sudah kena 'TUNGGANG' dgn thse clowns politician @ LOYAR BUROK. Kesian...

These politician@loyar BUROK will always main wayang kulit.

I agree with above anony...everyone's time wasted, money wasted,everything wasted every time when these clowns@loyar buroks involved.

Fauzi said...

This is a problem when you appoint a politician as the lawyer

TBH family sudah kena 'TUNGGANG' dgn thse clowns politician @ LOYAR BUROK. Kesian...

These politician@loyar BUROK will always main wayang kulit.

I agree with above anony...everyone's time wasted, money wasted,everything wasted every time when these clowns@loyar buroks involved.

dicko said...

Shanghai Stephen,

Better you migrate to Philipines and enjoy their freedom of the courts there!


shanghaistephen said...

Dave sorry to use your space but I direct this to Dicko.
Well dicko as your name suggests I assume that's exactly what you are...a real dick ! My point of inquiry was straight forward, but you being a dick have no idea what we're talking about. Again I'll assume it's to do with your breathe and think with your dick, right Dicko ?
Try and be civil in my friends blog you moron. You sound just like that other MACC moron who could strangle himself ! Just stick to answering my query and don't get emotional, dicko !
Now go take leak with your "thinking" dick and stay there.That's where vermins like you belong.Or is this message too hard for you to comprehend since you have such a small head to think with, you moron ?

my apologies dave.

Anonymous said...

The TBH lawyers have already drawn a conclusion that MACC chucked him out of the window. Nothing can change that fixed opinion.

But surely the last person to see TBH alive holds vital information.

What was the last person doing loitering in the wee hours of the morning? And then giving contradicting statements on TV and the print media?

Many answers are needed and a walk out will not provide the answers.


Anonymous said...

The delay is a win to brother Anuar. I presume, all the legal resource can now be concentrated on his case.

Anonymous said...


Try and be civil? Seriously, bro. With such filth uttered from you you are actually making mr dicko there look like a decent person. At least I don't see him spew such profanes such as you did. And I sorta agree with him. If you so much despise the court system here, you are very much welcomed to quote other judiciary systems from other countries when the matter of fact is Malaysia is simply using its very own system.

Please do not insult others so profusely if you cannot have others criticize your way of thinking.

Back to the topic, the RCI must be given the chance to conduct its investigations. By pulling out the families of TBH are justifying the public opinion that they're allowing themselves being used by politicians for their own agenda.


Dave Avran said...

Guys and Gals,

Please be reminded that I have a stipulation on commenting on my blog.

Stay on the subject matter at hand and refrain from personal attacks.

I DO vet the comments before publishing and will not hesitate to delete troublemakers who cannot respect other readers.

By all means comment, but stay civilized, please.