The injustice suffered by Kugan’s family and now that of Teoh’s speaks volumes about the BN government’s refusal to 'clean up it act'.
Not only that, justice too failed both families, leaving them angry and disillusioned with the federal government for conspiring and allowing the culprits to walk away scot-free.
Kugan, 22, a secondhand car dealer, was nabbed by the police on Jan 14, 2009, in connection with a luxury car theft. That was the last his family heard of him as six days later he died while in police custody at the Taipan police station in USJ, Subang Jaya.
In Kugan’s case, federal Criminal Investigation Department (CID) director Mohd Bakri Zinin had assured that there would be no police cover-up and justice would be seen to be done.
But in the end, a false post-mortem was despatched to Kugan’s family, claiming he died of breathing difficulties.
Thanks to the courage shown by his family and friends who entered the Serdang Hospital mortuary the same night, the first post-mortem was done and they took photographs and video recordings of his body.
A second post-mortem done at Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) revealed that Kugan’s body had 42 marks and contusions and among the burn marks were V-shaped burn marks believed to have been caused by a hot iron. The youngster also would have suffered “blunt force trauma” from the brutal torture and beatings he had sustained on his body.
A break down in Kugan’s muscle tissues made its way to his blood stream and kidneys resulting in rhabdomyolysis – acute renal failure.
The UMMC pathologist also found Kugan’s stomach was empty, which meant he was being starved before he collapsed and died from the severe beatings.
In a typical fashion, the police denied any wrongdoing, with the Selangor police deputy chief commissioner Khalid Abu Bakar denying any foul play. As far as Khalid was concerned, Kugan died of breathing difficulties.
So much for insulting the people’s intelligence. A 22-year-old is caught by the police and six days later ended up dead with a battered body. How will the police ever explain the scars evident all over Kugan’s body?
TBH – history repeats itself
The Kugan episode, however, made no impact on the “powers-that-be”. The Sessions Court on Jan 28 last year acquitted the police constable said to have caused grievous hurt to Kugan without even calling for his defence.
So much for the promise made by Bakri of seeing to it that justice was served.
Blatant abuse of power by the authorities continued and this time the victim was a 30-year-old Teoh Beng Hock, the political aide of Selangor executive council member Ean Yong Hian Wah.
Teoh was found dead on July 16, 2009, on the fifth-floor corridor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam after being questioned overnight by the Malaysian Anti- Corruption Commission officers on the 14th floor.
An inquest was held but could only reach an “open verdict”. An RCI was held later and the five-man RCI panel, headed by then federal court judge James Foong, singled out the three officers who were involved in Teoh’s interrogations.
However, contrary to the RCI report which named the three MACC officers, the Bar Council recommended five MACC officers be investigated for culpable homicide. No heed, however, was paid to the Bar Council recommendation.
Abuse of power –will it ever end?
On April 5 this year, it was revealed in Parliament that the Attorney-General’s Chambers has closed its case on Teoh’s death and cleared the three MACC officers named in the RCI report which had found that Teoh was driven to suicide after aggressive interrogation, of all offences.
This manhandling of justice has not gone down well with former Kuala Lumpur CID chief Mat Zain Ibrahim. To him, Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail is the real culprit.
Mat Zain had told FMT that with the amount of skeletons in Gani’s closet, the latter would be “digging his own grave” if he prosecutes anyone over Teoh’s death.
To Mat Zain, this was the reason why Gani was being cowardly and “afraid” to institute criminal proceedings against any persons recommended by the royal commission of inquiries (RCIs).
Mat Zain is not alone in his condemnation of the repeated desecration of justice. The process of justice has been tampered with, but it is of no concern to the federal government which at present is all-consumed with its general election propaganda.
Since the ruling Barisan Nasional government cannot be bothered with the abuse of power displayed by its agencies, should the rakyat not take it upon themselves to assemble in the open as a sign of protest against the country’s impotent judiciary, of the abuse of power by Gani and the unseen “blessings” given to such defilement?
The injustice suffered by Kugan’s family and now that of Teoh’s speaks volumes about the BN government’s refusal to “clean up its act”.
With such a “compromised” government, does Najib think he can misguide the rakyat through his sweet talks or “chivalry” and win big come the 13 general election?
Jeswan Kaur is a freelance writer and a FMT columnist.