Teoh Beng Hock

tbhTeoh Beng Hock was a political aide to Selangor State Executive Councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah. He was found dead at 1:30pm, 16th July 2009 on the fifth-floor podium rooftop of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam after being interrogated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Selangor headquarters from the late afternoon of 15th July 2009.

Selangor State has been under the administration of Pakatan Rakyat (People’s Alliance) since the March 2008 general election and MACC is a federal government agency controlled by Barisan Nasional (National Front), the ruling coalition.

The Barisan Nasional federal government had been hostile to the five Pakatan Rakyat-controlled states in the country, which has 13 states. In Feb 2009, then Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak orchestrated the crossovers of four Perak state assemblymen from Pakatan Rakyat to Barisan Nasional, causing the collapse of the state’s Pakatan Rakyat government. Two of the Pakatan Perak assemblymen, Jamaluddin Mat Radzi and Osman Jailu, crossed over to Barisan Nasional after intense investigation by MACC.

Najib Razak was made UMNO (the biggest component party of Barisan Nasional) Selangor chief in April 2009 and vowed to take back Selangor state from Pakatan Rakyat. Many commentators actually suggested Teoh Beng Hock’s death indeed was a tragedy resulting from political persecution.

On 13 July 2009 seven Selangor state assemblymen from Pakatan Rakyat protested against selective investigations by MACC Selangor into alleged misappropriations of state-allocated funds because MACC had been silent on multimillion ringgit scandals involving Barisan Nasional politicians, such as the Port Klang Free Zone and former Selangor Chief Minister Khir Toyo’s mansion.

It was under such circumstances that Ean Yong Hian Wah’s office in the Selangor State Secretariat building was raided by MACC officers at 4:30pm, 15 July 2009. Teoh was brought to the MACC Selangor headquarters on the 14th floor of the Plaza Masalam building to assist in an investigation.

The MACC officers conducted a marathon interrogation, which lasted nine hours from 5:00pm on 15 July 2009, of Teoh, who was denied access to a lawyer throughout the period. The forensic pathologist’s report shows that he was also deprived of food and drink during the interrogation. He was released at 3:45am on 16 July 2009, according to the MACC.

MACC Selangor’s director of investigations Mohamed Shukri bin Abdull confirmed that Teoh was found dead at 1:30pm, but Teoh’s family were not allowed to have a look at his body at 6:50pm and were only allowed to enter the scene an hour later. About 200 people staged a protest the next day at Plaza Masalam to demand that MACC be held responsible for his death.