The inquest into Teoh Beng Hock’s death is at the forefront of our minds. The cross-examination last week, of Thai pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand by Abdul Razak Musa, the lawyer representing the MACC, was not worthy of a government counsel, or any lawyer for that matter.
A further disappointment is the article which was posted on the MACC official blog on Monday.
The entry described Dr Pornthip as a fortune-teller, with a doctored picture of her as a gypsy, complete with crystal ball. It was not complimentary and was intended to smear her character.
The MACC is not content to field Abdul Razak as its court jester, but it feels compelled to join in the comedy circus.
Laughing may be the best medicine, but this latest revelation is no laughing matter.
Anyone who wishes to contribute to any website knows that their comments will be subject to scrutiny, by the moderator or editor. If they are too contentious, they are excluded.
The same conditions should have applied to the MACC’s official blog.
Following complaints from various quarters, the offending article was removed from the MACC blog. (The original article as it appeared in the anonymous blog is still accessible).
This malicious piece was intended to discredit Dr Pornthip. It started off by saying how her ‘80% homicide: 20% suicide’ theory had startled the nation but that it was intentional so she could obtain permission for a second autopsy.
It then said that (at last week’s inquest), she didn’t dare confirm if Teoh was killed because she did not have any supporting information.
The article claimed she was inconsistent because she changed her view to say Teoh did not commit suicide.
The article also seemed to suggest that she was not qualified to answer this supposition as she was not a psychiatrist.
It even claimed that the Selangor government had paid this witness to raise the people’s ire and inflame public sentiment. As expected, this article failed to mention that Dr Pornthip was acting on a pro bono capacity for the state government.
Throughout the length of the article, Dr Pornthip was systematically criticised and ridiculed, for her various statements and actions. The entry ended with a question, “Adakah sebenarnya dia pakar forensik, pakar psiktrik, pakar DNA atau hanya ahli nujum?” - “Is she a forensic expert, psychiatrist, DNA expert or just a fortune teller?’
The MACC may or may not have been complicit in publishing this article. But if this was an attempt to shore up support for the MACC, then it has backfired. The article was not just libelous, it was also prejudicial to the case.
Although the article was eventually removed, it may have been too late, for the damage had already been done. Dr Pornthip’s character and professional integrity were blackened.
The MACC, a government institution that is supposed to tackle corruption, appears not to be taking its job seriously enough. By resorting to underhand tactics, Teoh’s mysterious death will not be resolved any quicker and may spawn even more questions about the MACC.
Is this the future modus operandi for the MACC? These desperate tactics are not just an insult to Teoh but to all of us. In the court of public opinion, the MACC have failed Malaysians in more ways than one.
This inquest is important for all of us. It is not just about an institution against an individual, or a grieving family versus a cornered establishment or arrogant officers subjugating law-abiding citizens. It is about getting justice for Teoh Beng Hock. If we stop our struggle for justice now, then we would have lost something precious. - Malaysian Mirror
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