Sunday, July 31, 2011

There has been simply too much politicking lately

There is a third group out there – people who can relate to Bersih’s aims of a free and fair election but not through Middle East-style demonstrations. Jazz singer Datuk Sheila Majid tweeted: “I am disappointed with all political parties, NGOs and Bersih. There are better ways to approach”. She immediately received a nasty rebuke from a PKR activist who shot her down, saying he used to respect her. She probably lost a fan because of her tweet.

There has been simply too much politicking lately. The last time there was this much politics going on was when Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim made a fool of almost everyone about his Sept 16 “takeover” of the government.

This time around, the politicking has been over the Bersih 2.0 issue – in the weeks leading up to the street protest and now in the aftermath.

The dust has yet to fully settle over the Bersih issue. The divide between those who are for it and those against it is still as wide as ever and opinion, especially in the Klang Valley where the action took place, has been extremely polarised.

Both sides have made up their minds on the matter and neither is interested in listening to the other’s view.

Add to this the reaction to the Commission of Inquiry’s findings on the Teoh Beng Hock death and the opinion pot came close to boiling over.

The temperature is slowly receding and now that the picture is a little clearer, it is evident that there is a third group out there – people like me who can relate to Bersih’s aims of free and fair elections, but who are uncomfortable with the idea of taking political and legislative grievances to the streets. This group wants to see a good electoral system put into place but not through Middle East-style demonstrations.

Just how extensive this group is remains unclear but Pakatan politicians who are in touch with the ground would know that this category of thinking is pretty widespread.

DAP knew this even before July 9th took place and their leaders, especially from Penang and Selangor, kept a low profile throughout the Bersih affair. Besides, the DAP leadership could not afford to compromise their own seats of power by encouraging street politics. In fact, George Town was markedly quieter on the evening of July 9 with many people staying indoors just to play it safe.

Even before the Bersih weekend, a Malay group whom many believed was linked to Umno held a protest in George Town and the Penang Bridge to give Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng a taste of his own medicine. It caused massive traffic jams and people were very angry with the group. At the same time, it gave DAP’s Lim an idea of what Bersih would be doing to folks in Kuala Lumpur.

“DAP people sometimes forget that they are now the government in Penang. They think they are still the opposition. I would like to ask Lim Guan Eng to imagine what it would be like if we were to hold demonstrations at Komtar and Penang Bridge every time we feel that his policies are unfair to us. It would be chaotic,” said Penang Umno chairman Datuk Zainal Abidin Osman.

The more sophisticated urban class recognise Bersih for what it is but for the bigger population out there, Bersih was synonymous with the Pakatan parties.

Bersih chairman Datuk Ambiga, despite her high-flying credentials as the former Bar Council chairman, had to labour under the shadow of the Pakatan parties from the word “go”. Many have pointed out that this was not the case in the first Bersih rally led by activist lawyer Haris Ibrahim.

Haris, a fiercely independent sort, managed to stamp his personality on the first Bersih march in 2007. Back then, Pakatan had yet to come to power in so many states and the personalities involved were not as obsessed about Putrajaya. In that sense, Haris was among equals and seemed to have more control over the scope of the protest.

This time around, the parties and politicians in Bersih are eyeing the big prize. They control four states, their voice has grown fiercer and their ambitions have ballooned. Ambiga, quite unfortunately, was almost swallowed up by these ambitious politicians. It was little wonder then that her detractors saw her as a pawn in the big chess game of power. Certainly, only a politically naive person or someone in self-denial, would believe that Ambiga was acting on her own.

Bersih has achieved much of what it set out to do. It has succeeded in getting the attention of Malaysians regarding the electoral system and their rights as voters. The younger set are drawn to the Bersih ideals and there is support from civil society.

The Election Commission had agreed to five of its original 13 demands and when Bersih went ahead with the protest, it was based on the remaining eight demands, four of which are actually not about law but rather about social and systemic changes.

The eight demands are: Clean the electoral roll; reform the postal ballot; use of indelible ink; minimum 21 days campaign period; free and fair access to media; strengthen public institutions; stop corruption; and stop dirty politics.

The EC is now set to use the biometric system. EC chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar is taking part in open forums with Ambiga in a bid to answer allegations made against his office, something which his predecessors would not have dared do.

It is doubtful if Ambiga can really reclaim the NGO voice in Bersih after the way Pakatan politicians dominated the event, especially in claiming credit and victory after the march.

Bersih has been a boon for Pakatan. Anwar declared that thanks to Bersih, Pakatan was on course to winning the next general election.

But the big political winner is PAS. It has re-emerged as the coalition’s top gun after playing second fiddle to Anwar and PKR all this time.

The last few issues of Harakah have been packed with news and pictures of the march from the police crackdown to condemning the EC as the voice of Umno.

PAS deputy president Mohamed Sabu was going around like an injured hero after accusing the police of hurting his knee. A news portal carried a dramatic X-ray picture that showed a nail screwed into the back of his knee. But after the police released images that cleared themselves of ramming his motorbike, Mat Sabu has toned down and told reporters that he will only talk in court, the implication being that: you write, I see you in court.

In that sense, July 9 has been as much about free and fair elections as it is about Pakatan’s bid for power. That is the part that gets supporters of the ruling coalition hot under the collar and the middle ground feeling rather uneasy.

“There will always be people who are prepared to demonstrate for what they want. But now you have law-makers telling people: defy the police, no need to follow the law. They say they are going to be the next government and then they behave like this,” said restaurant operator Juhaidi Yean Abdullah.

Terengganu businessman Datuk Wan Albakri Mohd Noor was critical of PAS joining forces with Ambiga. Like many Malays, he associates Ambiga with the Lina Joy apostasy case and he felt that PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang, being a leading ulama, should have stayed above the fray.

Wan Albakri is one of those thinking Umno members who has been critical of his party in the past but Bersih seems to have stirred him back to the side of Umno.

“The fact that they are prepared to gain the upper hand through street politics, that is not my idea of democracy. The road to power is through the ballot box; you can’t present your case on the street. Don’t misread us just because we are quiet,” said Wan Albakri.

There are many views – and even finger pointing – within UMNO about how the situation could have been better contained. Opinions have ranged from wanting the police to be tougher to the need to engage with opposing views. But the street challenge has basically seen the party circle the wagons. They can see very clearly what they are up against and just how hungry the other side is for power.

Barisan Nasional, and especially Umno, has been under immense pressure. Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s walkabout in Jalan Mesjid India a day after the protest was about stamping his presence, to show that his administration is not cowed by what has happened. He left for a string of overseas assignments after that, but cut short a planned holiday to return home to more meet-the-people gatherings. The Prime Minister is determined to regain the initiative.

Umno’s intelligence feedback suggests that the impact has not been as great as had been initially thought. The feedback is that while the call for free and fair elections resonated far and wide, the way the issue was forced on the streets of Kuala Lumpur did not go down well with everybody.

There were people who thought that the police were too harsh and could not see the logic of arresting those who wore yellow. At the same time, they felt uneasy about the way the protesters defied the police. The police, they say, are not perfect but they are there to enforce the law.

“They say that every administration has its defining moment. Bersih was not that defining moment for Barisan. And if they do another Bersih, I am very sure the silent majority will not be so silent any more,” said Juhaidi.

The opposing sides are still simmering with anger and resentment. But the bright spot this week was the release of the so-called communists from Parti Sosialis Malaysia. It would be good if the men in blue could now stop nabbing people in yellow.

Although intended as a spoof, many Malaysians actually believed that the Digi Man was arrested by the police, although the e-mailed picture was obviously doctored.

Arresting people who wear yellow T-shirts with the word “Bersih” is not going to help the government win votes. Something is wrong with us if we believe revolutions can be launched by wearing yellow T-shirts with the word “Bersih”. One need not be a rocket scientist to know the political backlash of such an action, even though there may be good security measures.

Anwar could still post a tweet at 4.40pm that says “undergoing CT scan for injury. Wishing #Bersih all the best.” How he could take his mobile phone into a CT scan machine is a wonder. He had purportedly fallen during the protest.

Either Malaysians must be very bad in Maths or they are very good at exaggerating. The police said there were only 5,000 protesters whereas Datuk A. Samad Said said 50,000 while the pro-opposition Malaysia Chronicle news portal claimed 100,000 people.

The biggest losers were the rakyat who got stuck in horrendous traffic jams. Businesses can count their losses, vendors could not distribute their newspapers, commuters found at least eight LRT stations shut, the city’s cabbies had to stay at home and, worse, terrified city dwellers had to stock up on food unnecessarily.

Taxpayers must certainly be wondering why their money is being spent on bringing so many cops into the city – and serving a buffet meal to law-breakers at Pulapol – when they should be busy catching criminals.

It must be brought to mind that not everyone who supports Bersih 2.0 are pro-opposition. Many middle class urban voters are unhappy about many issues and it won’t hurt the government to listen to them. Don’t give up on them so they won’t give up on the government. Some concerns are legitimate ones that need fixing.

Likewise, Pakatan Rakyat should not misread Bersih 2.0 as an endorsement of the Opposition.

This post is based on the article “Views of the middle ground´by Joceline Tan, Sunday Star, July 31, 2011

TBH RCI: Post RCI Report Wrap Up

Unlawful intimidatory tactics used on Teoh

Teoh Beng Hock was driven to commit suicide by “aggressive, relentless, oppressive and unscrupulous interrogation” by several MACC officers, the RCI report concluded.

It said unlawful intimidatory tactics used by certain MACC officers during the interrogation process “would have had grave consequences upon Teoh's mind and would have been a culminating factor that drove him to suicide.”

The report singled out the acts of three individuals Hishamuddin Hashim, Mohd Anuar Ismail and Mohd Ashraf Mohd Yunus “most probably in the form of another round of intensive interrogation” to coerce Teoh into making a statement that it was Seri Kembangan assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah who directed him (Teoh) to commit unlawful acts in handling constituency allocations.

It said the fourth interrogation session by the three “must have been the straw that broke the camel's back.”

“This session must have been very taxing on Teoh both physically and mentally,” it said. The commission also disagreed with Thai pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunan's findings. It said Teoh had been deprived of sleep throughout that night and into the morning.

The report said Teoh, known to be hardworking, diligent, responsible, devoted to his family, loved children and was faithful to his boss Ean Yong, had shifted from low-risk to high-risk for suicide when he was taken in by Mohd Anuar to the Selangor MACC office for investigation.

It said Teoh was cut off from the outside world when he was not allowed to see Ean Yong and his lawyer M. Manoharan. Taking away Teoh's mobile phone, which he often found companionship in and used to relieve stress, would have meant robbing him of his means to reality and sanity, the report said.

“Thus, for the first time in his life, Teoh found himself totally and completely isolated from the outside world and thrust into desolation,” it said. The report said another factor which had serious implications on Teoh was surrendering his laptop to MACC officers and being forced to divulge the password to his e-mail account.

“As this held the key to many things private, Teoh must have felt that his privacy was violated under duress and the secrets of his life were in the open.

“This was a gross violation of Teoh's personal right, which would have compounded his anxiety and worry,” it said. The RCI also expressed its heartfelt sympathies to Teoh's family.

Charge the MACC officers, says Chua

The Government should institute disciplinary and legal action against MACC officers who had failed to observe procedures which led to the death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock.

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said it was obvious that some MACC personnel had adopted an indifferent attitude in interrogating Teoh.

“They were arrogant, abusive, lacked discipline and interpersonal skills,” he said after attending a dialogue session with members of non-governmental organisations here last night.

Dr Chua said the MACC should also review its interrogation procedures.

He also expressed his sympathy to Teoh's family, adding that the MCA respected the findings by the RCI.

“We understand what they have and are going through,” he said.

DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang called for the suspension of the officers for their aggressive questioning.

The MACC officers must be charged, he said, while questioning whether Teoh's death was caused by suicide or forced suicide.

Transparency International Malaysia president Datuk Paul Low said the findings of the RCI must be trusted because it was properly constituted and its members were people of integrity.

MACC Officers lied in the spirit of brotherhood

MACC officers were prepared to go to great lengths to lie and form a “blue wall of silence” in the spirit of brotherhood, the RCI revealed.

One glaring example, the report said, was that of Hishamuddin Hashim, a very senior officer, who was overall in charge of operations on the evening of July 15, 2009, until the early hours the next day.

“In the testimony before us, he was adamant that he had no knowledge whatsoever that complaints of assault and use of force had been lodged against officers under his charge.

“However, his lie was exposed when DSP Kamaruddin Ismail from the Selangor police produced a letter written by Hishamuddin himself in 2008 responding to police inquiries on the complaints of assault and related abuse of power that had been lodged against MACC officers under his command.”

It added that two courageous officers had testified that they were asked to lie that Hishamuddin was not directly involved in the operations.

“He not only was involved but he also unleashed his officers to do his bidding in order to get results within that night and morning come hell or high water.

“He was clearly accountable for what transpired at the Selangor MACC during the period in question,” the report said.

The RCI said the officers' actions to cling to brotherhood ties had caused them extreme difficulties in gathering evidence to arrive at the truth.

The report said the characteristics of this “blue wall of silence came amply into play by the untruths spouted by the MACC officers to cover up the nefarious activities that took place on the 15th and 16th of July 2009”.

“It is worth noting that the most unreformed' witness before the RCI was Hishamuddin whilst even the junior officers indicated a need for better training and exhibited some degree of embarrassment and remorse.

“Critical to change are the middle managers who must either be convinced to assist in the process of change or be made to leave,” it said, adding that effective changes to training, SOP and discipline were needed.

Serious attitude problems among Selangor MACC officers include brutality in interviews, poor interview skills, poor reporting, arrogance, poor relationship with the public and other agencies, insufficient use and understanding of modern technology, possible problems with interaction between intelligence-gathering and evidence-gathering, and lack of discipline.

The Selangor MACC also viewed witnesses or suspects as “the enemy”, it said.

Interrogators known for their brutal methods

Teoh Beng Hock's interrogators have been known to apply intimidating approaches during interrogation, the RCI report said.

It also said Teoh had to bear the weight of abusive and intense interrogation because he was the vital and sole link between Ean Yong Hian Wah and the contractors and suppliers for the projects and programmes.

“During his interrogation, Teoh had to face MACC interrogation heavyweights like Arman the bully (who would manipulate his witnesses to obtain evidence), Ashraf the abuser (who was Machiavellian in his method to secure evidence) and Hishamuddin the arrogant leader (who would have no qualms in lying as long as his ends were achieved, regardless of the means employed).”

The report said despite the habitual denials by the MACC officers-cum-interrogators, it could be safely concluded that their interrogation methods ranged from earnest and intensive questioning to psychological intimidation and physical threats.

“Since this had been their approach, there was no reason to believe that Teoh had received less aggressive treatment as compared with the rest.”

These intense stages of interrogation, the report said, must have created serious doubts in Teoh's mind with regards to his actions in relation to his duties as Ean Yong's political secretary.

“Finding no viable strategies to surmount the hurdle of accusations levelled, he found himself unable to escape from the suffocating quagmire in which he was trapped,” it added.

“Since the window on the 14th floor (of the Selangor MACC office) was either open or could be easily opened and it was conspicuous and easily accessible near where he was on the sofa outside Mohd Nadzri Ibrahim's room, Teoh would have found that the only way for escape from the torment he was undergoing was by jumping out the window, even though it meant taking his own life,” it said.

Shortcomings found in payment procedures

The RCI found it odd that payments for community projects and programmes were made to the Serdang Aman DAP and DAP.

The RCI said there were shortcomings in payment procedures to contractors who had collected the money from the DAP instead of waiting for payments from the Land or District Office.

Political parties should not be financially assisting government projects that are meant to be funded using the state budget, otherwise it will invite accusations that such funds or part of it are being channelled back to the political parties, said the RCI.

“We are unable to comprehend why a contractor or an agent undertaking to stage a programme or carry out a small project required the financial assistance of a political party to tide him over for the period while awaiting payments for the Land or District Office.

“Surely anyone doing business should have capital of his own or should make arrangements for the same,” the report said.

The RCI said investigations on Teoh's boss Ean Yong Hian Wah was initiated over false claims and allegations that certain Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen were using the allocation for the interest of their political parties instead of for the public in Seri Kembangan and Kampung Tunku.

“Thus, when payment was finally received from the District Office or Land Office, reimbursement had to be made to the political party,” the report added.

The RCI also found that the Selangor MACC did not do its groundwork to verify information before launching an investigation leading to the death of Teoh Beng Hock.

The RCI looking into Teoh's death at the MACC office in Shah Alam two years ago said former Selangor MACC deputy director Hishamuddin Hashim was convinced that state assemblymen were filing false claims based on an informant's belief.

Teoh's family rejects findings

The family of the late Teoh Beng Hock has refused to accept the RCI’s findings that the political aide had committed suicide. Teoh's mother Teng Shuw Hor, 58, insisted her son was murdered.

“I will not accept that my son would take his own life. My son was murdered,” she said. Teng said her family was not convinced with the findings and insisted that the MACC must be held fully responsible for Teoh's death.

“I cannot be patient. Whoever took him to the Selangor MACC building must be held responsible,” she said, adding that those named in the RCI report must be prosecuted for murder.

Teoh's younger sister Lee Lan, 31, told reporters that while there might have been evidence of “torture”, there was none that pointed to him having committed suicide.

“As a family, we cannot accept the conclusion of the report. It is not an answer for us,” she told a press conference at family lawyer Karpal Singh's office. She said the report did not indicate what happened to her brother.

“My brother was not weak,” she added, in reference to her brother being called weak-willed. Karpal said they would study the report in detail before deciding on the next course of action. He said they were not discounting the possibility of applying for a juidicial review to challenge the findings of the report.

“The findings are shocking and unacceptable to the family. They want justice done,” he said.

MACC accepts RCI findings

The MACC has accepted the findings of the RCI on the death of Teoh Beng Hock with an open heart. The commission said appropriate action would be taken on the RCI's recommendations.

“MACC is committed and gave its full cooperation to the RCI during the investigation. We will accept its findings openly, and will immediately study the report in totality” the MACC said in a statement The commission said it had yet to receive the copy of the report.

MACC said it would continue to discharge its responsibility in fighting corruption in the interest of the people and country.

Proposal to curb powers under MACC Act

A proper system of checks and balances must be installed to prevent abuse of power by MACC officers, the RCI said.

It said this was necessary as testimony provided by MACC officers had shown a “strong sense of arrogance” that they were accountable to no one while exercising their power under the MACC Act.

It specifically referred to their “distorted interpretation” of Section 31(3) which allows an officer to search premises without prior authorisation on the belief that a delay could result in destruction or loss of evidence.

It therefore recommended that the law be amended to prevent further abuse and misinterpretation as well as provide better protection to witnesses and suspects.
This included a proposal to delete Section 5(6) which confers a deputy public prosecutor's powers on the MACC's chief commissioner.

It suggested the clause “or an officer of the commission of the rank of chief senior asst comm or above as authorised by the public prosecutor” found in several sections of the Act including Section 31(3) be deleted as well.

To ensure MACC was quickly brought to a “disciplined state”, the RCI recommended the scope of its excellence and professionalism division (MPD) be reviewed. This included allowing the MPD to report directly to the deputy chief commissioner, conducting random inspections and carrying out disciplinary proceedings on errant officers.

In its recommendations on the treatment of witnesses and suspects, it suggested that all MACC officers undergo an extensive training programme, including psychological evaluation and counselling.

It called for all MACC premises and offices to be equipped with tamper-proof CCTV and surveillance cameras to record the movements of everyone in the area.

The commission also stressed the need for interview rooms to be equipped with oneway glass, installed with audio-visual equipment, located on the ground floor and kept unlocked throughout the session.

Those invited to MACC premises should not be kept for more than four hours initially and should be free to leave at any time, the RCI report stated.

If a person needed to be held longer, he could only be kept for a maximum of 12 hours following which the person should be released or arrested.

The person should also sign and agree that he did not have any objections to the extension.

“His arrival and departure details must also be recorded. “In addition, an officer senior to the interviewer should satisfy himself that the continuation is justified and sign off on the record.

“Justifications might include having to provide a lengthy statement, interruptions as to consult legal counsel, interruptions to consult documents and the like.

“The death of Teoh Beng Hock should not be in vain and all attempts should be made to improve the functioning of the MACC and the administration of criminal justice,” it said.

Evidence, the report said, showed that witnesses were kept for a considerable period of time with no proper record of time spent at MACC. MACC, it said, should adopt a standard procedure for dealing with witnesses and suspects and declare and record whether a person was a former or latter.

The process, the report stated, should be fully recorded in a purpose-designed booklet which is kept available for scrutiny.

“A soft-back book with stapled numbered pages should be considered for use to obviate any suggestions of tampering,” it said, adding that full details of the person should be recorded in the book.

Suspects should also be advised of their rights, it said, adding that only a person implicated in a criminal act should be treated as a suspect.

“The recommendations are intended to improve and rebuild the MACC as a well respected institution. We have every confidence that the MACC will rise to the challenge.”

It also noted that the interviews conducted by MACC ranged from “robust” to “brutal” with Selangor MACC officers admitting that “psychology” was also used.

It said that the interviews were not only “oppressive” but the techniques seemed to have the “tacit approval” of Selangor MACC's senior officers.

The techniques, it added, were in violation of lawful practice and seen to be ineffective by international law enforcement.

It also noted that there were more complaints against Selangor MACC officers than against other MACC offices nationwide with 25 of the 59 reports over a five-year period against the state MACC.

The RCI suggested that MACC postpone the roll-out of its video interview rooms until all officers were properly trained to ensure they knew how to use the equipment and employed proper interviewing techniques.

The Government has given its assurance that appropriate action would be taken against the MACC officers who had breached investigation procedures when investigating Teoh.

Spank this monkey above to download the full RCI report in .pdf format

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Teoh Beng Hock Committed Suicide, Says Inquiry Panel

The RCI has established the death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock, whose body was found sprawled at the MACC building in Shah Alam in July 2009, as suicide.

This conclusion of the RCI is contained in a 124-page report of the five-member panel headed by Federal Court Judge Tan Sri James Foong Cheng Yuen, which was released to the public today.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had announced on Jan 26 the setting up of the RCI to, among others, determine the cause of Teoh's death after the Shah Alam Coroner's Court delivered an open verdict following an inquest.

Teoh, 30, the political secretary to Selangor State Executive Councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, was found dead on the fifth floor corridor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam, Selangor, on July 16, 2009, after giving a statement at the Selangor MACC office located on the 14th floor of the same building.

The RCI sat for 50 days, from Feb 14 to May 10, and heard the testimony of 70 witnesses at the New Civil High Court at the Court Complex here.

The RCI, in its report, established that Teoh committed suicide following an aggressive, relentless, oppressive and unscrupulous interrogation session.

It also found that MACC officers had no intention and reason to kill Teoh, and had only questioned him to obtain a confession so that Teoh could become a witness in the case of alleged irregularities involving his boss Ean.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz, at a news conference on the RCI report at the Parliament lobby, said the RCI concluded that Teoh had committed suicide as he felt oppressed by the aggressive and relentless interrogation, coupled with his weakness of character.

He said the fact of suicide was supported by the testimonies three experts of forensic psychiatry, namely Professor of Forensic Psychiatry Paul Edward Mullen of Monash University, Australia, who was engaged by the Bar Council of Malaysia, as well as Dr Badi'ah Yahya and Dr Nor Hayati Ali.

Nazri said these experts concluded that the aggressive and relentless interrogation resulted in Teoh experiencing a change in his state of mind, transforming him from being in the low-risk group for suicide into the high-risk group.

As such, Teoh Beng Hock was not killed," he said.

According to the report, the probability that Teoh took his own life was looked at from the angle of his character and change in his state of mind as a result of what he went through on July 15 and 16, 2009.

Besides enquiring into the death of Teoh and the circumstances surrounding and contributing to his death, the RCI was also required to enquire whether or not there was any impropriety in the conduct of the examination of Teoh in the course of an investigation by the MACC in relation to its standing orders and practices and to recommend any appropriate action, where necessary.

Nazri said the RCI found that three investigating officers had used relentless, aggressive and inappropriate tactics of interrogation on Teoh, which were found to have violated the standard operating procedure.

The report stated that the officers, Hishamuddin Hashim, Mohd Anuar Ismail and Mohd Ashraf Mohd Yunus, probably undertook intensive interrogation on Teoh to force him to make a statement that it was Ean Yong who had instructed him to act contrary to the law in handling the fund allocation.

The report said the session would have put Teoh under physical and mental duress as he had been denied sleep overnight, and that the fourth interrogation must have been the final straw that broke the camel's back.

Nazri said the RCI proposed that the MACC improve several aspects, including in terms of entry qualifications and training of officers, infrastructure and basic office facilities as well as review existing procedures to make them more effective.

The report contained the unanimous decisions of the five-member panel.

The members were former Federal Court Judge Tan Sri James Foong Cheng Yuen, Federal Court Judge Datuk Abdul Kadir Sulaiman, former Court of Appeal Judge Datuk T.S.Nathan, Penang Hospital Forensic Pathologist Datuk Dr Bhupinder Singh and forensic psychiatrist and Dean of the Medical Faculty of the University College of Medical Sciences, Cyberjaya, Professor Dr Mohamed Hatta Shaharom.

The report will be sold to the public from tomorrow at RM45 a copy at the Legal Affairs Division of the Prime Minister's Department.

Nazri said Teoh's family could take legal action if they were not satisfied with the report of the RCI.

"This is a free country. We can consider any request. Furthermore, the RCI was set up on public request," he said.