PUTRAJAYA, Sept 5 — The police should immediately drop its sedition probe of DAP veteran leader Lim Kit Siang for claiming that political aide Teoh Beng Hock was “murdered” in 2009, party leader Teo Nie Ching said today.
Teo said the Court of Appeal’s ruling today that Teoh’s death was caused by the actions of unknown persons including the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers has “proven” that Lim was correct in making his claim.
“Beng Hock did not commit suicide and it was not an accidental death, someone caused his death and therefore it is correct for Lim Kit Siang to say that Teoh Beng Hock was murdered and the investigation against him should immediately stop,” the DAP assistant publicity secretary told reporters here in an immediate response after the judgement was delivered.
On August 4, police recorded a statement from Lim over his allegedly seditious remark in a July 16 article, which was published on party portal The Rocket, regarding the unexplained death of Teoh five years ago.
The recording followed complaints of bias by several Malay Muslim groups against the police, including Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) which had demanded the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and Attorney General to explain their lack of action against non-Muslims whom they alleged had made racial and religious slurs.
On July 21, IGP Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar had said Lim would be investigated for stating that those who were behind Teoh’s death had yet to be caught.
“His words in the article could be seditious, we will investigate Kit Siang under the Sedition Act,” the IGP was quoted saying by national news agency Bernama.
“Do not try to create something which is not true but can cause the people to be angry and suspicious. A political leader should not make a statement like that,” he added.
On July 22, Lim asked how Khalid knew it was “not true” that Teoh was killed at the MACC’s Selangor office on July 16, 2009, insisting that the contents of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI)’s report on his death pointed to murder instead of suicide.
Lim also repeated his criticism of MACC’s July 15 statement that its own disciplinary board and complaints committee had cleared the three MACC officers involved in Teoh’s case of indiscipline, calling it a “great travesty of justice” and demanding a full explanation for the decision.
Today, Teo also demanded an apology from the IGP as no one has been charged to date despite police investigations.
She also said the minister in charge of anti-graft efforts Datuk Paul Low should apologise, claiming that there was a suspicion of “cover-up” within the MACC over Teoh’s death as the agency’s internal probe has cleared its officers of any wrongdoing.
The Court of Appeal overturned the decision by the Coroner’s Court in January 2011, which had delivered an open verdict, ruling that Teoh’s death was not a homicide or a suicide.
All three judges on the Court of Appeal panel substituted it with their verdict today, saying: “The death of Teoh Beng Hock was caused by multiple injuries from a fall from the 14th floor of Plaza Masalam as a result of or which was accelerated by an unlawful act or acts of person or persons unknown, inclusive of MACC officers who were involved in the arrest and investigation of the deceased.”