A Decade On, Beng Hock’s Family Look to Latheefa for Justice

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Delays have dimmed the hopes of Teoh Beng Hock’s family, who initially celebrated news that Pakatan Harapan will reopen investigations into his death.

With the recent appointment of renowned activist and human rights champion Latheefa Koya as Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief, they have revived calls for the truth behind Teoh’s death be finally made known.

His sister, Lee Lan, said Latheefa started her career in activism by fighting unfair judicial decisions and interrogation techniques.

Now that she is MACC chief, it is only right for her to speed up inquiries into Teoh’s case, said Lee Lan.

“We still want justice for Beng Hock. We believe that only by severely punishing the murderers can MACC’s reputation be restored,” she told The Malaysian Insight.

“Stop torture and unfair investigative techniques. Prevent innocent witnesses or suspects from dying in custody.”

She said former MACC chief Mohd Shukri Abdull should have been suspended immediately after her brother’s death but was promoted instead.

After Pakatan Harapan (PH) took over Putrajaya in May last year, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the cabinet had agreed to reopen the probe into Teoh’s death.

Lee Lan said despite reports that the cabinet had considered the case last month, her family have yet to receive updates.

“We have no news of any progress. Since PH came to power, we have been asking lawyers and following up with police, including asking whether they will begin to arrest and interrogate the officials involved. But we have not seen any arrest or investigation.

“We believe that police have submitted their findings to the attorney-general, but there has been no news.

“Our family members are disappointed. People have asked us to allow the government time to reopen the case, but they have begun to lose patience, too.”

She pleaded for the ruling pact to help end “the suffering of the Teoh family, and the people’s and our request for the arrest and conviction of the murderer”.

Teoh was found dead on July 16, 2009, on the fifth floor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam after giving a statement at the Selangor MACC office, located on the 14th floor.

The former reporter, who was then an aide to ex-Selangor exco Ean Yong Hian Wah, apparently fell to his death after being questioned in a corruption probe.

On January 5, 2011, magistrate-cum-coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas delivered an “open verdict” that Teoh’s death was neither a suicide nor homicide.

In September 2014, however, the Court of Appeal ruled that the “open verdict” was wrong.

Ean Yong said MACC investigators have contacted several contractors interrogated on the same day as Teoh.

“They were in the same building as Beng Hock, and I know that they have been assisting in the investigations.”

Ng Geok Chee, chairman of the Teoh Beng Hock Trust, said he had sent a letter to Attorney-General Tommy Thomas seeing information on the case, and the reply was that police have been ordered to investigate.

“We recently sent another letter to the A-G, requesting a meeting. But there hasn’t been a response.”

He said the group also wrote to Latheefa after she took office earlier this month, and is hoping to see justice finally served over Teoh’s death.

“We have been disappointed for 10 years.” – TMI