The Commission of Inquiry into the death of Teoh Beng Hock heard last Wednesday that Selangor state executive councilllor Ronnie Liu had kicked open the MACC office door to enter on the day Teoh was found dead. Former Selangor MACC deputy director Hishamuddin Hassim said Liu and a number of other politicians had earlier gathered in front of the Selangor MACC office and created a commotion.
He said Liu who managed to enter the office, rushed to the room of an investigating officer, saying that he wanted to see MACC deputy chief commissioner Datuk Abu Kasim Mohamed. "He appeared angry and was taken to see Abu Kasim who tried to calm the situation. Abu Kasim said let the police investigate and if any MACC officer had caused Teoh's death, action would be taken," said Hishamuddin who is now Negeri Sembilan MACC director.
He said after the explanation, Liu voluntarily left the office. Hishamuddin said following Teoh's death, all the MACC officers involved in the investigation (into a misappropriation of funds case) were called by the police to give their statements, and he was told by his officers that no one knew what actually happened to Teoh and did not see him leaving the MACC office on July 16, 2009.
He said as the officer heading the investigation, he was shocked with Teoh's death and regretted it happened as Teoh was an important witness. Hishamuddin said on the night of July 16, 2009, he was in his office room studying the investigation papers until he fell asleep and woke up at 5.45am to send his child to school.
On public complaints that MACC officers used force during questioning, Hishamuddin said: "At the Selangor MACC, I had never received a letter of complaint against my officers, but we had a mechanism to deal with it if it happened." He said complaints against the MACC officers arose after Teoh's death, but he did not know who the complainants were and what the officers did to them.
"Witnesses came to the MACC office voluntarily and were not forced. If we did that, we could be embarrassed later on. We understand human feelings, so we took care of them. We were not even rude to them as they were important to us," he added.
Meanwhile, commission secretary Datuk Saripuddin Kasim in a press statement said it allowed the Selangor government's application to be an observer when Thai pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand testifies this Saturday and Sunday. However, if the state government wishes to be represented by a lawyer, it needs to apply to the MACC under Section 18 of the Investigation Commission Act 1950 (Act 119).