The Rights of the Dead: In July 2009, the mysterious death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock rocked the nation. His body was found outside the premises of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), where he was being held overnight for interrogation.
Directed by the deceased’s ex-colleague, Tricia Yeoh, The Rights of the Dead captures the events that would soon follow his death.
Produced by Pusat Komas for FreedomFilmFest 2012.
And this is a recent press statement:
Given that the police have not yet come to any conclusion in the re-investigation into the death of Teoh Beng Hock since 2018, the Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy (TBHTD) urges Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim to set up a new investigation team to conduct a thorough investigation into Teoh’s death at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) office in 2009.
In the past four years, former home ministers Mahiaddin Yasin and Hamzah Zainudin did not exercise due diligence in probing Teoh’s death and possible human rights violations when he was in MACC custody.
In 2019 Mahiaddin openly criticised [calls for a re-investigation, saying that although] the case had exhausted all avenues, the Teoh family was asking for more.
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During Hamzah’s term as home minister, the TBHTD sought the assistance of MPs to pose questions about the progress of the investigation, but the Ministry of Home Affairs refused to provide detailed information on the grounds that the investigation was ongoing.
The new government must have the political will to tackle this long overdue issue. The ministry should take the 2014 Court of Appeal verdict seriously – the court ruled that one or more unknown persons, including MACC officers, had caused Teoh’s death.
The new investigation must be based on the Court of Appeal verdict and probe again the death, from all angles, including murder and culpable homicide. Previous investigations were trying to prove Teoh had “committed suicide”, which is neither neutral nor professional.
We urge Anwar not to forget the reason for his presence at the Selangor MACC headquarters 14 years ago. Many Pakatan Rakyat leaders and elected representatives, including him, gathered there to demand justice for Teoh Beng Hock, calling on the MACC and the Najib Razak government to explain his death.
Revealing the truth about Teoh’s death and bringing the perpetrators to book would restore public confidence in the Ministry of Home Affairs, the police and the Attorney General’s Chambers. This will be a decisive step in rebuilding credible enforcement agencies that respect the rule of law.
Ng Yap Hwa is chairperson of the Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy