Malaysia to reopen investigations into death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock

Malaysia to reopen investigations into death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock

Teoh Beng Hock relatives
Relatives of deceased Malaysian political aide Teoh Beng Hock arrive at Shah Alam Criminal court while holding Teoh's portrait in the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur on Jan 5, 2011. (Photo: AFP/Saeed Khan)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's Cabinet has agreed to reopen investigations into the death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock, who was found dead in 2009 after giving a statement at the office of the Selangor Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

The circumstances in which he died were controversial. 

Teoh, an aide to a Democratic Action Party (DAP) assemblyman of the then opposition-held Selangor, was found dead on the fifth floor rooftop of the building where MACC had its headquarters. This was after he was brought in for questioning over allegations that state allocations had been misappropriated

Finance Minister and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng announced at a news conference on Wednesday (Jun 20) that Teoh's case will be reinvestigated.

Also present at the news conference was DAP minister and lawyer Gobind Singh Deo, who said there are grounds to reopen the case that sparked widespread public outrage almost a decade ago.

"I am of the view of there is a need to reopen the case as we didn't have confidence in the findings of (the previous) task force," he said

"There is definitely a lot of room for reinvestigations to be opened ... a lot of different angles to be looked at".

The DAP formed the federal government along with its coalition Pakatan Harapan after the May 9 general election victory.

Since then, the new government has reopened a few investigations, including the 1MDB probe.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad also said investigations into the 2006 murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu may be reopened, if there is new evidence.

Altantuya's father, Setev Shaariibuu, met Dr Mahathir to make his case for a fresh probe. He had earlier in the day lodged a police report, naming a key witness.

Altantuya's body was found blown up by military-grade explosives in a jungle clearing in Shah Alam. She was believed to be a translator on a French submarine deal when former prime minister Najib Razak was defence minister.

Two former policemen were convicted for her murder but no motive was established.

Mr Najib is already being investigated in relation to allegations that funds were misappropriated from 1MDB. Minister Lim Guan Eng told Channel NewsAsia last week that none of the actions taken so far by the government was motivated by a personal vendetta against Mr Najib.

Source: CNA/ec/(gs)