Former PPBM youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman today said he was treated well during his 11-hour questioning by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on Friday.
This follows condemnation of the “prolonged interrogation” by the Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy, which called it a form of “psychological torture”.
Syed Saddiq said the MACC questioning him beyond work hours was done with his consent.
He said he appreciated the Teoh Beng Hock Trust’s concern but also stressed that the MACC officers questioning him had treated him professionally.
“I would like to clarify that during the investigation against me, the MACC officers had conducted their duty professionally and in accordance with the law.
“I had given them permission for the investigation session on July 17 to continue after work hours to assist the MACC.
“I also appreciate the Teoh Beng Hock Trust’s determination to ensure transparency in MACC’s investigation,” he added.
Syed Saddiq said MACC should be given space to investigate.
“In the end, justice will prevail,” he said.
Syed Saddiq was questioned by the MACC over a report he made in March over the sum of around RM250,000 that he said was stolen from his home.
He said most of the missing money was to fund renovations at his house in Petaling Jaya. Of the missing sum, RM90,000 belonged to him whereas RM50,000 belonged to his mother and RM70,000 to his father.
The incident occurred amid turbulence within Bersatu where Syed Saddiq – the party’s former Youth chief – sided with Langkawi MP Dr Mahathir Mohamad who is leading a breakaway faction from the party.
Pro-Mahathir Bersatu Youth members have accused the MACC of harassing those who oppose the Perikatan Nasional government, but the anti-corruption agency has denied any political motive behind their investigation.
The Trust said it had been repeatedly criticising human rights violations committed by MACC since the political death of Teoh Beng Hock on July 16, 2009.
The MACC interrogated Teoh for at least 11 hours, from 6pm on 15 July until 5am on July 16.
The political aide to then Seri Kembangan state assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah was found dead the next morning on the 5th floor rooftop of Plaza Masalam.
Ng Geok Chee, who chairs the Trust, said the problem lies in the enormous power vested in the hands of MACC, endowed by virtue of Section 30(3)(a) of MACC Act to interrogate a person, theoretically, for indefinite periods of time.
The provision in question Section 30(3) of the MACC act stipulates that – A person to whom an order has been given under paragraph (1)(a) shall – (a) attend in accordance with the terms of the order to be examined, and shall continue to attend from day to day where so directed until the examination is completed.
“Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy has been urging the government to amend the article to end unnecessary and prolonged interrogation, eliminate all forms of psychological torture, respect detainees’ right to rest and prevent reoccurrence of the tragedy of Teoh,” Ng said.
She said that the MACC Act must comply with Lock-up Rules 1953 that all detainees be given rest time between 6pm and 6am.
“All enforcement officers including MACC officers must receive human rights education, whoever violated the rights of detainees shall be punished.
“The government must take action to curb the abuse now,” she urged.
Ng said another incident occurred last month, where Syed Saddiq’s officer Nurul Hidayah had accused MACC of committing torturous acts and utter discriminatory remarks against her during interrogation.
“She was asked to stand on one leg for half an hour. An MACC officer also threw a handphone towards her and threatened to slap her. They called her ‘Babi’ and ‘Bodoh’.