Thursday, April 07, 2011

'MACC hasn't learnt its lesson' - Customs officer dies after falling off MACC building

Pakatan Rakyat leaders have reacted in shock over the death of a senior Customs officer at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's (MACC) Federal Territory office this morning.
Selangor executiveNONE councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah said it is obvious that the MACC “did not learn from Teoh Beng Hock's case”.
“This will look badly on the MACC. People have already lost confidence (in them) after Teoh's case... the MACC must take action to prevent this from happening again. Somebody must take responsibility for this case,” he said when contacted.
The MACC is at the heart of an ongoing royal commission of inquiry into the death of Teoh, who was Ean Yong's aide in July 2009 when he was found dead outside the building where the Selangor MACC is based.
He had been questioned overnight as a witness into alleged irregularities in use of Selangor government funds by Ean Yong.
Today's death of the seniNONEor Customs officer - assistant director Ahmad Sarbani Mohamed - is the second incident in as many years, where a person called in for questioning has ended up dead.
PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail expressed alarm, stressing that the integrity of institutions “which should take care of us” has come under serious attack, especially after the revelations of misconduct by officers on duty during the Teoh RCI.
“This is something very serious affecting the institutions which act as check and balance in our country. This matter is very serious... we have to do something. MACC needs to take stock, be truthful and clean up,” she said when met in Sarawak.
Police given 24 hours
PKR's Subang parliamentarian R Sivarasa called for the MACC parliamentary committee to investigate Ahmad Sarbani's death, saying that it “seems highly suspicious”.
“Since he was rpakatan cij parliament pc 131108 sivarasaeleased on bail and went back to change his statement, the MACC may not be able to give the same reason as in the Teoh case and say that it is suicide,” he said when met in Parliament.
PAS' Titiwangsa MP Dr Lo' Lo' Ghazali agreed with Sivarasa's suspicions, saying that it has happened again possibly because Teoh's case was not resolved with honesty and transparency.
"I believe that the government should resolve the issue wisely and earnestly. Make this a reminder and lesson for the future, so that we can avoid more incidents like these."
PKR Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin said the authorities must launch a thorough and serious investigation into the Customs officer's death, to avoid having to have a lengthy inquest and another RCI.
“If the police do not appear to take serious action within 24 hours, then we will lodge a police report. We will defend the rights of the Customs officer, just as we defended Teoh,” he said.
NONEParit Buntar MP Mujahid Yusof Rawa stressed that this latest death only aggravates the public's loss of trust in the MACC, as they may believe that they cannot trust the agency with their personal safety.
“"We heard during the recent inquiry about how MACC investigation methods involve pressure and what-not. The question is why did he (the Customs officer) jump? If he jumped. It could be because he was subjected to pressure and stress during the investigation,” said the PAS leader.
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said the commission must go through a "full revamp" to determine whether or not it can carry out its duties effectively, efficiently, impartially and professionally without causing harm or death to its suspects.

The DAP wants a RCI on the officer's death, he said, which should "determine the cause of death, punish the culprits responsible and implement safeguards" to make sure suspects' safety is taken care of while in custody.
He further blasted the MACC's failure to investigate corruption allegations against Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, saying this shows a clear case of double standards and systems failure in enforcing the law equally.

seals: hmmmm  will this make the other case stronger....or maybe now Malaysia!

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