PETALING JAYA: Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh today refuted Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s accusations that he had made “careless and false remarks” in alleging the minister had failed to instruct police to reopen the probe into the death of Teoh Beng Hock.
Ramkarpal said he was glad Muhyiddin had clarified his position that further investigations into Teoh’s death had indeed commenced, with the setting up of a special task force which had submitted its investigation papers to the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) in October.
“I, however, vehemently deny Muhyiddin’s claim that I had made careless and false remarks in relation to the status of the investigations.”
He said Muhyddin’s statement that a special task force had been set up and had handed its investigation papers to the AGC was a revelation to all.
He said the announcement was being made for the first time today.
“This was after I had expressed dissatisfaction yesterday on behalf of Teoh’s family with regard to the delay in such investigations,” he said in a statement.
Ramkarpal was responding to Muhyiddin, who denied the Bukit Gelugor MP’s allegations that he had failed to instruct police to reopen the probe into Teoh’s death.
“As a government MP, he should be more cautious in making any statements, especially involving members of the government. I am disappointed over this,” Muhyiddin reportedly said.
Ramkarpal had taken Muhyiddin to task for not directing the IGP to reopen investigations despite being urged to do so by the AG.
Describing it as “baffling”, he said the failure of the minister to instruct the IGP to act immediately raised “grave suspicion of the possibility of a cover-up in Teoh’s death”.
Ramkarpal, who is also DAP national Legal Bureau chairman, then went on to point out that he had written to Muhyiddin on Oct 26, where he expressed shock over the minister’s statement that the reopening of investigations into Teoh’s death would only be carried out upon instructions by the AG.
This, he said, was because the AG had already instructed the IGP to commence such investigations in July, 2018.
Ramkarpal said he had again put pressure on the inspector-general of police on Dec 15 last year to reopen investigations as well as raised the issue in Parliament in the last parliamentary sitting.
“As such, surely Muhyiddin must have known since at least October last year that he had been quoted on numerous occasions as having said that investigations into Teoh’s death will only be taken upon instructions by the AG, which clearly implied that such investigations had not yet commenced.,” he said.
Ramkarpal claimed that the Pagoh MP never responded to his letter or the press reports.
He said the minister did not clarify that he was referring to the investigation papers submitted to the AGC by the task force on Oct 18, when he said in October last year that the police were awaiting further instructions from the AGC.
“There can be no doubt that his silence on the matter was taken by many to mean that indeed, he had yet to direct the IGP on the matter,” he said.
Ramkarpal said he was not the only one who came to such a conclusion as a result of Muhyiddin’s silence, citing the example of the chairman of the Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy, who had questioned the seven-month delay in reopening the case.
In moving forward, Ramkarpal thanked Muhyiddin for confirming that further investigations into Teoh’s death had already begun and are ongoing, saying that this was a step in the right direction.
“It shows that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government is committed to getting to the bottom of this unfortunate tragedy.
“I hope that regular public updates are made in relation to the progress of the investigations. This is to avoid any future misunderstandings and to ultimately provide closure to Teoh’s family after all these years,” he added.