DAP MPs have today called for a special task force to be set up for other ‘unsolved’ deaths.
Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh has welcomed the announcement by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob that three task forces will be set up to look into outstanding issues but said he must explain why other unsolved cases are not being treated the same way.
Ramkarpal said the decision to set up the task forces by Ismail Sabri in the cases of firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim, the allegations of former attorney-general Tommy Thomas in his recent autobiography and the Pulau Batu Puteh dispute was a good move, but questions were being asked about other cases.
“One such case is that of Teoh Beng Hock, who mysteriously died in 2009.
“Despite a finding by the Court of Appeal that Teoh’s untimely death was ‘as a result of or which was accelerated by an unlawful act or acts of persons unknown, inclusive of MACC officers’, investigations have yet to be completed even with the setting up of three task forces in 2012, 2014 and 2018.
“This raises serious questions as to the effectiveness of such task forces, as surely investigations into the matter ought to have been completed after 12 years,” said Ramkarpal in a statement today.
He said those responsible for Teoh’s death must be charged accordingly and his family will be filing a suit in the near future in the High Court, compelling the police to complete their investigations as 12 years is certainly an unreasonable time for a probe.
Ramkarpal said that Ismail Sabri must also explain why there has been no conclusion in the investigation into Altantuya Shaariibuu’s murder in 2005.
“Although the actual perpetrators have been convicted, the mastermind behind the murder remains unknown.
“As it is obvious that the said perpetrators had no motive to murder Altantuya, the failure to identify and charge the mastermind has given rise to a perception that there is a cover-up, which cannot be allowed to continue.
“The cases of Teoh and Altantuya must be resolved, and it remains to be seen if the government of the day has the political will to do so as there must be finality and closure for the families,” he said.
He called on the PM to announce the measures the government intends to take to resolve both these cases forthwith, saying that if he failed to do so the perception of a cover-up would remain.
His party colleague, Lim Guan Eng, also called for a special task force on Teoh and police custodial deaths, as well as one to scrutinise the performance of the current Attorney-General Idrus Harun.
“This is to ensure that the formation of the special task force is not about revenge politics but about ensuring that justice is not only done but is seen to be done.
“DAP has no objection towards the special task force announced by the prime minister to look into the unsolved death of firefighter Adib, which is an open admission of failure by the federal government,” said Lim, who is also Bagan MP.
He said that leaders of the current government had whilst they were in opposition accused the then Pakatan Harapan government of not catching the murderers and charging them in court.
“Now that they are in government, they appear to have lost interest in Adib’s case over the last 20 months when no one was caught and charged with his murder.
“Only when reminded by Harapan MPs repeatedly of their promises on Adib, the government decided on this delaying tactic of setting up a special task force on Adib,” he claimed.
He said that there was a need to seek justice for those who lost their lives whilst detained by either the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission or police.
“Every life is precious,” added Lim.
Lim said that in addition to a special task force on former AG Thomas’ allegations of judicial abuse and interference, the government should in the interest of fairness also have a special task force on current Attorney-General Idrus’ role.
He said that Idrus had attracted controversy over the dropping of corruption and abuse of power charges of several politicians who support the current federal government.
Lim also claimed that Idrus had also gone against the king’s wishes in disputing his command that Parliament should convene meetings and that the Emergency Proclamation should be debated and decided in Parliament.
“This misconduct is equally serious and should merit the investigations of a special task force headed by a former chief justice,” said Lim. – Malaysiakini