Ibrahim Ali takes PM Najib to task for forming the commission, saying the opposition is exploiting Teoh's death.
Chiding Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak over the matter, the independent Pasir Mas MP said the opposition had been exploiting the former political aide’s death to fish for votes in the coming election.
“A royal commission costs money, the inquest already cost money. And this is the rakyat’s money, my money, as I am a taxpayer as well,” he said, adding that the government should not have caved in to political pressure.
“It’s not that we don’t sympathise with Teoh’s death but I feel it should not be politicised. If they can catch someone then good, if not, then we can’t do anything,” he said.
Ibrahim urged the police to probe Teoh’s cause of death and suggested that his family take civil action instead of a “redundant and unnecessary” royal commission.
“I was shocked when the PM announced the commission today. It’s shameful, as it does not respect the inquest’s decision, as if the court ruling has been outrightly rejected,” he told a press conference here.
“Wasn’t the inquest held based on the request of the family? The inquest process was transparent and based on the Criminal Procedure Code.
“A coroner was appointed and he ruled that it was neither suicide nor homicide, so it’s an open verdict… I’ve checked with lawyers and this means it’s up to the police to see if there’s anyone that can be accused,” he added.
On Wednesday, Coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas issued an open verdict after 18 months of proceedings, drawing flak from various quarters.
Teoh was found dead, presumably from a fall, after being questioned overnight by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in July 2009.
Rejecting the possibility of suicide, his family suspected foul play and this led to Najib ordering an inquest into the cause of death.
This morning, Najib announced the setting up of the commission, which would look into whether MACC’s investigative procedures violated human rights.
As for Teoh’s cause of death, Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail, whom Najib said was dissatisfied with the open verdict, had filed for a review of the decision with the High Court this afternoon.
Inquest better than commission
“I found out that an inquest is more open and better than a royal commission as it is in the open court. If the commission returns a similar decision, then what next?” he asked.
The Perkasa boss also questioned why there were no calls for a royal commission into the murder of cosmetics tycoon Sosilawati Lawiya and the fatal shooting of teenager Aminulrasyid Amza by the police.
On another matter, Ibrahim “congratulated” Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, with whom he had often crossed swords, for deciding not to defend his Rembau parliamentary seat in the next general election.
“If he thinks it’s good for him, its up to him,” he said, “But I think he doesn’t need to tell it to the public, keep it to yourself for now. It’s as if he wants the people to coax him to stay.”
Meanwhile, Ibrahim said that Perkasa would be focusing on more economic issues that affected the Malay community in 2011, including having a Malay rights-based economic unit that would work alongside the government’s Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu).
He also revealed that a Perkasa gathering to promote Malay unity would be held on Feb 26 in Perak where former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad had agreed to attend.
“Perkasa will be more vocal, more aggressive, this year, fighting for Malay and Bumiputera rights,” he added.