~ BY LEE SHI-IAN

Universiti Malaya law lecturer Dr Azmi Sharom said the country’s entire system needed to be overhauled. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, December 6, 2014.

If Putrajaya refuses to change for the better and put an end to the corruption and imbalances in the system, the people must choose another government, an academic said.

Universiti Malaya law lecturer Dr Azmi Sharom said it was clear that the system was rotten to the core and sweeping changes were required to set things right.

“When the Court of Appeal set aside the open verdict by a coroner on the death of Teoh Beng Hock, it confirmed our doubts,” he said at a fundraising dinner for the Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy at the Mutiara Complex in Kuala Lumpur last night.

“There was something suspicious about Teoh’s death, but it took five long years before this was recognised by authorities.”

Azmi also questioned the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s reason for holding Teoh overnight when he was just a witness.

“If suspects close to the ruling elite are needed to assist an investigation, the authorities ask them in a very nice way to attend an interview.”

He said the entire system in the country needed to be overhauled.

“If there is any pretence of the rule of law and democracy, then Putrajaya must change for the better otherwise the rakyat will choose another government.”

Azmi said the people would continue to choose a different government until they got one which was honest and possessed integrity.

National laureate A. Samad Said, who is chairman of the trust, said the money generated from the fundraising dinner would be utilised to rent an office and employ an executive officer, and to provide funds for legal services for individuals and their families who suffered the same fate as Teoh. It would also be used to promote democratic and human rights awareness among the public so that the people understood their rights.

Teoh, the 30-year-old political secretary to Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, was found dead on the fifth floor corridor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam on July 16, 2009.

Teoh had earlier provided statements at the Selangor branch of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), on the 14th floor of the building.

On September 5 this year, the Court of Appeal overturned the open verdict reached at an inquest into Teoh’s death.

The court held that there was ample direct evidence that his death was caused by a person or persons unknown and ruled out that Teoh had committed suicide.

Last night’s fundraising dinner, which was attended by more than 700 people including Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers, raised close to RM100,000. – December 6, 2014.

Source: The Malaysian Insider