NO amount of political spinning in cyberspace or twisting of the rhetoric will change the fact that Teoh Beng Hock was found dead outside a building where the Selangor Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) office is located, after he was brought there for questioning.
It took two years for the case to reach the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into his death.
It has been established that Teoh had committed suicide and that he was driven to it by the relentless and aggressive interrogation of MACC officers tasked to question him.
There are no right words that can describe the trauma and the excruciating grief Teoh’s family has been suffering since his death.
The Government has done its part by opening all possible venues to dig deeper into the real cause of Teoh’s death from setting up the Coroner’s Court to approving the RCI.
It does not take super brains to move on to the next stage, that is to throw the book at the MACC officers who were singled out in the RCI report.
Half of the nation would be pleased to hear that MACC is finally heading in the right direction and has slapped its three officers with suspensions pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
Some may still ask ... is that enough? The RCI report has unearthed greater issues within the MACC beyond the fault committed by a handful of officers.
Teoh’s death has been debated and scrutinised in the court of public opinion since the day he was found dead and the Government has been on the receiving end of ugly innuendos and gross accusations despite efforts being made to ensure the case was being tried in the
most transparent and professional manner.
As such, punitive action against the three officers must not be taken as the final footnote to a case.
It would be unwise to think that the last chapter has been closed and the nation is now finally ready to move on as RCI has delivered a conclusion to a protracted case.
What MACC needs, is far more
than just punishing a few officers as the image of the agency is now at stake.
On hindsight, perhaps the RCI on Teoh’s death has given MACC the opportunity to revamp itself for the greater good of the nation.
At the very least, it gives MACC’s top officials a moment to pause and relook at its standard operating procedures (SOP) and why it failed to work in certain cases.
Perhaps there are still questions about how MACC would continue to operate effectively when the attention of the nation is now focused on the weak links of its operations.
There are still many questions and some can only be answered by swift and dedicated action.
MACC is being led by able leadership, it is a big carrier captained by Tan Sri Abu Kassim who has been named as one of the 100 influential people in business ethics for 2010 by the New York-based Ethisphere Institute.
MACC also has panels of advisers formed by notable Who’s Who across all sectors.
Therefore, the agency is fully equipped and soundly capable in revamping itself.
Perhaps what it needs the most now, other than a strong political will, is the support of the people to push MACC into doing what’s right
to repair its public image that has seen heavy scarring due to Teoh’s death.
Of course, if Teoh’s case is not persuasive enough, hopefully the death of Selangor Customs assistant director Ahmad Sarbaini Mohamed would be enough as justification for a revamp.
MACC’s tagline “You Can Make A Difference – Fight Corruption!”, is a line that delivers a direct message to the people, reminding them that it has the ability and the will to make a difference to fight a horrible cancer to the health of the nation.
We, the people of Malaysia, would like to believe that MACC too has what it takes to make a difference.
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