The Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy today criticised former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak for recently defending his handling of the death of the eponymous political aide.
In a statement today, the trust’s chairperson Ng Yap Hwa said Najib must take full responsibility for Teoh’s death.
“Najib must take full responsibility for Teoh’s (alleged) torture and death because the MACC was under the former’s care,” said Ng.
To recap, Teoh died in July 2009 while in the MACC’s custody. Three years later, a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) concluded that the MACC’s aggressive interrogation tactics drove Teoh to commit suicide by jumping to his death.
Ng said that in February 2009, the MACC investigated two PKR state assemblypersons. Later, they defected and attended a press conference alongside Najib. This had caused the fall of the Pakatan Rakyat government in Perak to be replaced by BN, which Najib led at the time.
In July 2009, three months after Najib became prime minister, the MACC investigated seven Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers in Selangor, of which one employed Teoh.
“Who was behind the MACC operations which were politically motivated? Were the investigations aimed at another coup, this time in Selangor?” asked Ng.
He said it has been established that the MACC officers who interrogated Teoh did not lodge a police report immediately after the death occurred and headed straight for Putrajaya.
“Who did the MACC officers meet in Putrajaya? Did they go to the prime minister’s office? The police should have investigated all the calls between the MACC officers and politicians to establish who was behind all this,” added Ng.
He pointed out that despite the RCI’s criticisms of the MACC’s tactics, no one was brought to account.
In view of these outcomes, Ng said Najib cannot disclaim responsibility in the entire affair.
“Najib must explain what happened in July 2009. What were planned by himself, Umno and MACC at the time?” asked Ng.
On Sunday, Najib had complained on his Facebook page that Teoh’s death has been used as a political weapon against him for a decade.
Najib wrote that after Pakatan Harapan formed the federal government in 2018, there were no attempts to reinvestigate the matter.
“At least when I was prime minister, the BN government conducted an inquiry and an RCI, but the decisions were rejected by DAP,” he said.
“For 10 years I was slandered by the non-Malays due to the incitement by Harapan. They never apologised to me nor their supporters.”
As of November last year, the police were still investigating Teoh’s death from a wrongful confinement angle.
Investigations were initiated in 2019 after receiving orders from then attorney-general Tommy Thomas. – Malaysiakini