KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 12 — DAP’s National Legal Bureau chairman Ramkarpal Singh last night refuted Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s claim that he had made “careless and false” remarks on the status of investigations into the 2009 death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock.
The Bukit Gelugor MP said in a statement that he made several queries about the investigation and Muhyiddin’s announcement yesterday that a special taskforce was set up to re-investigate the death was the first time the minister had openly stated so.
“Muhyiddin’s revelation that a special taskforce has been set up which has handed its investigation papers to the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) as reported earlier today (yesterday) is the first time he has done so after I expressed dissatisfaction yesterday on behalf of Teoh’s family over the delay,” Ramkarpal said.
Muhyiddin had admonished Ramkarpal in a statement yesterday, saying: “As a government MP, he should be more careful when making statements, especially concerning members of the government administration. I deeply regret the statement (by Ramkarpal).”
He pointed out that he had raised the matter during his ministry’s post-Cabinet meeting on June 27, 2018 saying that the Cabinet had instructed for the case to be reopened.
Muhyiddin also said he has directed the inspector-general of police to take immediate action on the Cabinet’s decision.
Ramkarpal had said on Thursday that Muhyiddin had failed to instruct the police to reopen investigations into Teoh Beng Hock’s death.
Although he said he was glad that Muhyiddin has since clarified his position, Ramkarpal said last night that the minister surely would have known since October last year that he has been quoted numerous times as saying the investigations into Teoh’s death would only be done upon the Attorney General’s instructions.
He said he had written a letter to Muhyiddin on the matter on October 26, 2018 and again called on the ministry to pressure the IGP to reopen the investigations on December 15, as well as raised the matter in the Dewan Rakyat’s last sitting.
“Yet he never responded to my letter or the various news reports on my responses to him where he also said the investigations are still ongoing. Muhyiddin’s past silence on the matter was taken by many to mean that he had indeed yet to direct the IGP on this,” he said.
Emphasising that he has never made any misleading remarks on the status of Teoh’s death, Ramkarpal said he hoped regular public updates would be made available.
“This is certainly a step in the right direction and shows that the Pakatan Harapan government is committed to getting to the bottom of this unfortunate tragedy.
“The updates in relation to the investigations’ progress will help to avoid any future misunderstandings and to ultimately provide closure to Teoh’s family after all these years,” he said.
Teoh, who worked for assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah, was found dead on the morning of July 2, 2009, on the rooftop of a building adjacent to the offices of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.
He had been taken into custody the day before by the commission for questioning on alleged corruption.